Monday, October 25, 2010

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen."
Jude 24-25

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Got Ears?

Are you a good listener? Do you make a conscious effort to understand people with whom you interact? How about those with whom you find yourself in disagreement?

I have noticed that there are some folks who are so eager to prove their points that they will not wait until the other party has finished speaking. They lack a very important quality of a good leader or moderator; that of listening.

Listening requires more than simply hearing the words of the other person. It involves trying to understand where they are coming from, what motivates their words and attitudes, and what pressures may be causing them to act in the manner they do.

Do you hear what I'm saying?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Are You In The Light?

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
John 3:19-21

Many people who reject the truth about God and the Bible try to make their argument an intellectual one. They "claim" there is not enough proof about the existence of God and therefore He is probably just a myth. This rationale seeks to find it's support in man made theories posing as science. They love to point out how science and the Bible are inconsistent and therefore one must be wrong. Of course science has been proving the Bible more and more over the last few hundred years.

No. The real reason men will not come to the light of God's word is because of their evil deeds. They love their sin too much and are afraid of coming out of the shadows where they can be exposed.

I have seen the same issues in Christians as well. They come to Christ and repent of their wicked ways. They know sin is wrong and therefore try to live a godly life, avoiding the external sins. Often however, this attitude is only skin deep. They have not made a full consecration in their heart. The desires of the flesh still long to be expressed and many find "acceptable" ways in which to satisfy these cravings.

Let me ask you. Are there deeds in your life that you rise up and defend when they are threatened? Do you tend to cry legalism whenever one of your beloved activities is mentioned as questionable? Are you willing to bring every thought and deed to the light in order to see if they have been done in God?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday, June 09, 2008

Those Polluted Piggies

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter 2:18-22

This is one of the classic Arminian texts used to dispel the notion of eternal security. They claim that those who do not remain faithful to Christ are in danger of being damned again and forfeiting the right to eternal life that was once their possession.

But trying to keep something I could not earn or deserve by my own faithfulness seems like nothing more than a disguised cloak of works-salvation; for if I can do anything to lose it, then I must ultimately do something to gain it.

The scriptures are abundantly clear that salvation is a free gift, neither earned or deserved and based in no way upon our own merit. That being said, why would the Lord promise something we must endeavour to keep? No this text must be dealing with something else.

Perhaps the key to understanding this passage is to know what Peter means by "escaping the pollution in the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". I doubt Peter was referring to some eco-friendly Jesus who could cleanse away the filth of carbon emissions and the like.

Let me ask you the reader these two questions:

a. What does it mean to escape the pollution in the world?

b. What does through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ mean?

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Price of Sin

Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”
Matt 9:2-6a (NKJV)

While we know that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh (incarnate) and therefore had all power as a member of the Godhead, was not the forgiveness of sins the reason He came to die on the cross? Which of the following options do you think is most applicable in this situation?

1. Since He was God He was able to forgive the sins of whomever He wished. That is His prerogative.

2. Jesus knew that this man was one of the elect for whom He was going to die anyway, and therefore gave him an advance on His forgiveness.

3. He did it just to spite the Pharisees and show them that forgiveness does not come by keeping the law or being self-righteous.

4. He wanted to reveal His oneness with the Father by doing miracles of power that could only be attributed to God.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Perseverance of False Professors

The Calvinistic doctrine of Perseverance teaches that all believers will endure to the end in good works and fruit bearing. The idea that they will persevere is because the Holy Spirit will enable or direct them to continued fruit in their lives. This teaching is coupled with the doctrine of election which states that God has chosen the individuals who will be saved from before the foundation of the world and none of them will be lost, neither will any others be added to their numbers.

Assuming this to be true, what does it matter whether or not someone professes Christ but is indeed a "false convert"? If they were meant to be elect their salvation will indeed be genuine while those who were predestined to be damned will remain in the delusion of a "spurious" profession.

Ray Comfort states that 90% of professions are false. That may be the case in California and other parts of the US, BUT is hardly the case in nations where the Church is severely persecuted and mocked. What possible reason would a person have to pretend to trust Christ if they would risk their life for doing so? Why would anyone give up the comforts of life and pleasure unless they realized that a greater threat than physical death was imminent?

IF these doctrines are indeed true as many affirm, then what is the issue with haggling over requirements for salvation? The elect will get saved - end of story.

IF the number of the elect is already fixed and unchangeable, how should we as Christians be living and what should be our priorities in life?

A Tale of Two Servants

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.' So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Matt 18:23-35 (ESV)

This parable gives the contrast between two servants and the debts they owed. The first one owed an enormous debt to the king while the second owed a minuscule amount in comparison to his fellow servant.

A few questions for consideration:

Does anyone dispute that both of these servants depicted here signify believers in Christ?

What does it mean to be delivered to the torturers?

Did the first servant "losing" his master's forgiveness imply a loss of salvation? How could he possibly remedy his grevious situation?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Concerning The Elect

The Bible has many verses in the New Testament that refer to the elect. My question to you dear reader is the following;

Does the elect refer to a corporate group of people or individuals? Or can it include both groups?

The Origin of Sin

Do you believe man was born with a sinful nature? Is the reason all men have sinned because all men were born in sin?

Is this what is referred to as Original Sin?

I am curious, can you think of any verses that would prove man is born with a sinful nature?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

This Is A Faithful Saying

"For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He will also deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself."

2 Timothy 2:11-13

I will start with the premise that Paul is referring to believers again in this text. He starts off by stating that "if we die with Him, we shall also live with Him". I think we could all agree that baptism expressly typifies this relationship with the Lord Jesus in that we were crucified, buried, and raised to new life with Him through regeneration (not baptismal regeneration but being born again by the Holy Spirit).

The next verse states that "if we endure, we shall also reign with Him". The very presence of the word "if" obviously denotes a possibility of not enduring. Thus the reigning is contingent upon our endurance.

Now here is where we segway into the previous post about denying the Lord. What exactly this means is I think open to clarification but it does seem to infer that the Lord will deny in someway those who have denied Him.

And finally His faithfulness is not reliant upon our continued faithfulness for He cannot deny Himself. I find comfort in that statement as I know He upholds the promises of His word regardless of my failures and weakness.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

False Teachers

"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction."

2 Peter 2:1

The ultimate sign of any false teacher is the denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. This is the capstone of heretical wickedness which God, according to this verse, will not tolerate for long.

Yet as I was reading this verse a certain portion caught my attention:

..."even denying the Lord who bought them"...

What does this mean to you? Does it not imply that these same false teachers were actually saved as they had been bought by the Lord? I know of only one way in which the Lord Jesus Christ has bought people, and that is through His shed blood as a ransom for our sins.

The following verse states that the way of truth will be blasphemed because many have followed their destructive ways. Is this not the case today? Yet I have heard repeatedly that these ones are the false sheep or goats and not actually true converts. They have made a profession but their faith was not genuine.

Now I am not denying the fact that their are doubtless multitudes who have been deceived into thinking they have eternal life simply because of some action on their part. However, this verse is dealing not with the followers but with the teachers.

So my dear reader; what does it mean to be bought by the Lord? Is it possible that a true child of God could teach damnable heresy even to the point of denying Christ?

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Guide To Calvinism

Have you ever wanted a concise guide to understanding the teachings and definitions behind Calvinism? Well Kevin Jackson over at Seekadoo has put together a fairly comprehensive list for us.

Calvinist Dictionary

If one laughs at this list does this ultimately mean he is not a true Calvinist?

On the flipside, the kind gentlemen at Triablogue have put together a dictionary to better understand Arminianism, albeit with much tongue involved.

Arminian Dictionary

Christian vs. Secular

Have you ever noticed that many christians will exercise great discernment when it comes to theological matters concerning doctrines. They are quick to dismiss preachers, teachers, and those who espouse certain doctrines they deem unbiblical or heretical and yet the same people seemingly lack the same care in the choice of their music.

How is it that so many who call themselves Calvinist can swallow the lyrics of secular and contemporary Christian music so easily? Much of this current music would be fairly Arminian in nature and yet it seems to pass through the doctrine filters rather effortlessly. Have you noticed this dichotomy as well?

Also, what is your opinion on the sensuality of christian singers? Do you think it is ok to sound exactly like the world in the praise of our Saviour?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Attention Publishers & Authors

McClay Design is looking to create some new book covers and as such is taking submissions. Do you have an idea for a book? Perhaps you are working on a manuscript and need a cover design, or maybe you know someone who is going to publish soon. Whatever the case Matt would appreciate any creative ideas you have.

McClay Design

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

May Be More Posts This Month

My oldest boy starting playing soccer last week. First game (12-0) for other team. Second game (8-0) for the other team. My boy managed to find the positive in that and stated "we were getting better". After two games the team was dissolved for lack of players and my son was assigned to another team.

Third game (1-0) for the other team. But wow it was almost fun watching them play. Anyways it's amazing how much fun you can have chasing a round ball across the field for an hour.

If you haven't commented on my last post please be kind enough to leave a suggestion for future topics.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Token April Post

Just so y'all know I'm still alive.

Now, if any still reads this blog what sort of topics would you like to see from me? Which subjects should I engage and confront?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who Nailed Christ To The Cross?

One of the popular worship songs in the past 20 years called "Our God Reigns" states the following in the third verse.

It was our sin and guilt that bruised and wounded Him
It was our sin that brought Him down
When we like sheep had gone astray our Shepherd came
And on His shoulders bore our shame

According to the doctrine of Limited Atonement, Christ died only for the elect and only their sins were paid for on the cross. If that is the case would it not make sense that those who will go to hell are not guilty of Christ's death since their sins were not laid upon His shoulders? They cannot be held liable for His death since it was only the sins of the elect He bore? Does that make sense?