subscribe to the RSS Feed

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The diagnosis and cure…

Posted by Gary on November 22, 2012

Revelation 3:17-19 “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

Modern evangelicals in our culture have gotten money, power, and influence, and it has been like giving whiskey to a two-year-old. But the need of the hour is theological, not political. The arena is the pulpit and the (Lord’s) table, not the legislative chamber. The message is Christ crucified and risen for His chosen sinners and now acknowledged Lord of all. This risen and conquering Christ is the Head of the Church. Before we are equipped to proclaim His lordship to the inhabitants of all the earth, we must live as though we believed it in the Church

We must therefore study the Scriptures and reform our doctrines and beliefs according to the Scriptures. We must then pray, seeking reformation and doctrinal renewal from the sovereign Lord Who alone can bestow it. When the household of God has been cleansed, according to His Word, we will be  qualified to preach the triumph of the Lord Christ to the nations of the world. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). (Doug Wilson from “Mother Kirk” p.22)

Justified now, forgiven now, saved now, saved with a certainty (The Bible’s condemnation of the Roman Catholic view of Justification)

Posted by Gary on May 17, 2012

John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

1 John 5:13 “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

John 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

I spent some time today reading the sixth section of The Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church’s response to the Protestant Reformation. The sixth section outlines Rome’s position on “Justification” or what the layman might call, “forgiveness”. I was formerly a Catholic and have many family and friends who are. I love them and believe that some of them have a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus. But if they are saved it must be said that it is in spite of what Rome has taught them, not because of it.

The Bible teaches us that at the moment a person receives Christ as their Savior with genuine repentance and faith, their sins are forgiven and they have eternal life never to perish. Jesus has said it above in John 5:24, please notice the tense… “has eternal life” and “has passed out of death into life”. Not, “might have eternal life” or “can hope he has eternal life”. Notice also, not, “will have eternal life” or, “will pass out of death into life”. But, “has”, now!

On what does Jesus make these wonderful assurances contingent? Believing. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me”…But Rome says something different:

Section 6: Canon 12.
If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

Section 6: Canon 14.
If anyone says that man is absolved from his sins and justified because he firmly believes that he is absolved and justified, or that no one is truly justified except him who believes himself justified, and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are effected, let him be anathema.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Receive and you will be received

Posted by Gary on March 7, 2012

Luke 18:9-14 “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

There are many comparisons you and I could make between the Pharisee and tax-collector but here is the most vital one…As these two called upon God, one made mention that he had done something, the other that he needed something. The Pharisee rejoiced to tell God (or perhaps more honestly, himself) all that he had done which included things he claimed not to have done in comparison with the tax collector. But the tax collector as he speaks to God is conscious only that he needs something from God, he needs mercy. WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Blind guides-Glenn Beck and John Hagee offer Israel hope without Christ

Posted by Gary on September 1, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(I write the following out of concern for Christians that I fear are trading the true faith for a false faith wrapped in concern for Israel. This false faith relegates Jesus Christ, the Son of God to second class status while it claims to be from God. My writing flows from a real conviction that God has a chosen remnant from national Israel that He will bring to faith in His Son and save them (Romans 9:27). It flows from a significant sympathy with the nation of Israel in political affairs. All this being said, blind Christians are being led by blind guides into the ditch of false faith and need to be warned away from the likes of Glenn Beck and John Hagee)

Romans 9:6-7 “But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham…”

Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” 

I have written previously about Glenn Beck and my concern that he is promoting a false faith both through his Mormonism and his teaching that all the world’s faiths can turn to God together. You can read the pieces here, here, and here.

Most recently, Beck held his “Restoring Courage” event in Israel as an opportunity for people of faith to declare their support for and solidarity with Israel. One of the guest speakers at the event was John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX and head of John Hagee Ministries.

Hagee is one of the many dispensational teachers who take love for and support of the people of Israel to heretical levels. Caring about Jews and praying for their salvation is one thing, showing solidarity with Jews at the expense of acknowledging Christ is another. Hagee’s past includes cooperative efforts with Jewish rabbi’s who reject Jesus as Messiah while claiming that they are doing God’s will together. If you listen carefully you will see that Beck and Hagee both regard support for national Israel as a goal that supersedes God’s person and way of salvation.

As you continue to read, keep in mind that as Glenn Beck introduced John Hagee he told us that Hagee would speak to us about faith…

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Restoring Courage-following Glenn Beck to the Town of Morality

Posted by Gary on July 27, 2011

imageI have posted previously on my concerns about Christianity’s flirtation with heresy via Glenn Beck and my concern only deepens. Beck has announced a new event to take place in Israel on August 24 calling it, “Restoring Courage”.

Beck states that it is his desire to stand with Israel through this event. Well, that is fine and good for him to do personally but through this event Beck intends to make a much greater declaration. Beck has called for people of all faiths to come to this event not only to stand with Israel but to emphasize the importance of faith.

It is not the truth that matters here because whether Christian, Jew or Muslim (and I suppose any other faith) we are doing something higher, standing with Israel. This is the danger with Glenn Beck, he emphasizes an earthly, moral cause above the truth of who God is and how He can be known. This is an echo of his “Restoring Honor” event in which he gathered religious leaders from various faiths in calling America to turn back to God.

As moral and good as all these things seem, they are idolatry plain and simple. This is the false teaching of many even within the Christian world, that supporting Israel is more important than testifying to the truth that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and the whole world.

Will God hear the prayers of people at this rally who pray yet reject Jesus as His Son and their Savior? Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6). That is of course unless you are at the Restoring Courage rally standing with Israel. In this case Beck would have us believe that God is going to morph into a generic god because something more important than His person is being emphasized (more important to Beck that is). Saving the world or Israel or America is not more important than the truth of who God is.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Understanding Rob Bell

Posted by Gary on April 19, 2011

Isaiah 53:10 “But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”

One must understand when listening to Rob Bell and others like him that when they just seem to be asking something, they are really saying something. Questions do not always mean inquiry, questions can actually be a subtle way of declaring. This is Rob Bell, ask, ask, just asking when all the while he is sowing falsehood and lies about God and the gospel (see this serious parody of Rob Bell and his method).

Here is an excerpt from Bell’s promotional video for his latest book, “Love Wins”:

“And so, what gets, subtlety, sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God. But what kind of God is that; that we would need to be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good; how could that God ever be trusted? And how could that ever be good news?”

What does Jesus rescue us from? God’s wrath against evil and sin. It’s not good that God hates evil and sin? A God who hates evil can’t be trusted? Would someone please explain the logic of this question? A God who holds men accountable for their actions in accord with absolute truth and righteousness can’t be trusted?

What Rob Bell is really asking (saying) is, “Don’t you dislike the idea of a just, righteous God?” This is the danger of Bell’s questions, he is posing them to idolatrous hearts (yes, like mine), knowing that in our falleness we hate God’s justice. “Yeah” the devil sneers into our ears, “What kind of God is this who punishes?” “Doesn’t He know you mean well and that that deep down you are really a good person?”

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

God saves us from God-Answering Rob Bell’s Irreverence

Posted by Gary on April 18, 2011

Exodus 19:21-25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, so that they do not break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. “Also let the priests who come near to the LORD consecrate themselves, or else the LORD will break out against them.” Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.’” Then the LORD said to him, “Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you; but do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, or He will break forth upon them.” So Moses went down to the people and told them.”

Exodus 33:5 “For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.’”

1 Thessalonians 1:9 –10 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” 

Rob Bell, in the promotional video for his latest book, “Love Wins”, says the following:

And then there is the question behind the questions, the real question: What is God like? Because millions and millions of people were taught that the primary message—the center of the Gospel of Jesus—is that God is going to send you to hell, unless you believe in Jesus. And so, what gets, subtlety, sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God. But what kind of God is that; that we would need to be rescued from this God? How could that God ever be good; how could that God ever be trusted? And how could that ever be good news.

Take note that Bell puts his parameters around God, God could only be good if he is the way Rob Bell thinks he must be. “What kind of God is that?” What Bell more than implies is that a God we must be rescued from could not be a good God and Bell has come to assure us that we don’t need to be rescued from God.

What does Rob Bell do with passages like those listed at the head of this post? A God who would break forth against sinners who come into His holy presence? A God who plainly says that if He were to be in close proximity to His rebellious people He would destroy them in a moment? We are waiting for God’s Son from heaven who rescues us from the wrath to come? Whose wrath? Isn’t it God’s wrath Jesus is saving us from? (See Revelation 14:19)

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

What a salvation!

Posted by Gary on February 15, 2011

“There is therefore now no condemnation.” –Romans 8:1

Come, my soul, think of this. Believing in Jesus, you are actually and effectually cleared from guilt; you are led out of your prison. You are no more in fetters as a bond-slave; you are delivered now from the bondage of the law; you are freed from sin, and can walk at large as a freeman, your Savior’s blood has procured your full discharge. You have a right now to approach your Father’s throne. No flames of vengeance are there to scare you now; no fiery sword; justice cannot smite the innocent. Your disabilities are taken away: you were once unable to see your Father’s face: you can see it now. You could not speak with Him: but now you have access with boldness. Once there was a fear of hell upon you; but you have no fear of it now, for how can there be punishment for the guiltless?

He who believes is not condemned, and cannot be punished. .. All the blessings which you would have had if you had kept the law, and more, are yours, because Christ has kept it for you. All the love and the acceptance which perfect obedience could have obtained of God, belong to you, because Christ was perfectly obedient on your behalf, and has imputed all His merits to your account, that you might be exceedingly rich through Him, who for your sake became exceeding poor. Oh! How great the debt of love and gratitude you owe to your Savior!- Charles Spurgeon

Rest for the conscience

Posted by Gary on February 5, 2011

“But suppose the conscience becomes restless, what are we to do with it? Brothers and Sisters, there is no purging the conscience from dead works except by drawing near to Christ, again! Have any of you Christian people slipped with your feet? Have you dishonored the sacred name you bear? Be ashamed and be confused. Who among us has not much to make him ashamed?

But remember that the Christ who invites the erring sinner before conversion, invites the erring Believer after conversion. Come, all you that labor within your spirits and are heavy laden under a sense of your imperfections—come to Christ, again, today! Where you once found rest in the atoning Sacrifice, you shall find it again!

…You with your intellectual brilliance, come to my Lord, today, and see Him on the tree, and look your doubts away! You with the troubled conscience because of your unworthy walk, come to the Fountain and be washed anew—and let your conscience find rest.”—Charles Spurgeon from “The Christ Given Rest”

Salvation

Posted by Gary on December 4, 2010

If you are to have salvation and spend eternity with God, you must humble yourself and believe that salvation is His work; that you and I contribute nothing to salvation and must receive it as a gift through faith. A great many religious people will never enter the gates of heaven for their religion is their pride, they offend God by refusing to believe what He has said. God saves those who acknowledge they can do nothing to save themselves, that Christ has done all for them and they are forgiven simply by believing.

“But” you insist, “this sounds to good to be true”. “The Gospel” means “The Good News”. Can a salvation that is partially God’s work and partially yours be good news? How do you know when you have done enough? If you must perform enough good works to get to heaven then perhaps too many bad works will cause you to forfeit heaven. What a treadmill you are on and all the while offending God by refusing to believe His good news and pridefully insisting that you have goodness in yourself that can earn His forgiveness.

Will you be forever proud? Will you never humble yourself? Will you continue to point to something you have done (baptism, giving, church attendance) when God declares that “by the works of the law no flesh will be justified””:

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Galatians 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »