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Addressing The False Dispensational Interpretation Of 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

Posted by Job on March 19, 2013

First off, allow me to be fair and state that not every dispensationalist adheres to this error. However, the wishful interpretation of this text is common among premillennial dispensationalists who believe in the pretribulation rapture. Now this is not intended to be a denial of the rapture doctrine. I was raised to believe in the rapture, and I am perfectly willing to adhere to this doctrine again the very instant that someone shows me justification for it in the Bible. Now to the text:

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let], until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”

Now for some following verses, because, well, I like them.

[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Many rapture teachers frequently use this text as evidence for the rapture of the church. The teaching is that the “until he be taken out of the way” refers to the Holy Spirit’s presence being removed from the earth when the church that is indwelled by the Holy Spirit is raptured away. And – as the teaching goes – without the salt and light that is the church on the earth that acts as a restrainer against evil, the world will slip into evil chaos and great tribulation.

Now two problems with this “Holy Spirit being absent from the world during the great tribulation doctrine” are as follows:
#1. The “tribulation saints” that will be converted during this time (according to the rapture teachers) will somehow experience new birth without the Holy Spirit to accomplish it, and will also brave the vicious persecution of the anti-Christ without the ministry of the Holy Spirit to give them courage and comfort.
#2. A somewhat bigger problem than #1 … as the Bible makes it clear that God’s Spirit is what sustains creation and holds it together, were the Holy Spirit to be removed from the earth at any time, it would disintegrate into nothing quicker than an instant.

So while demonstrating how that doctrine is unworkable when measured against clear Biblical teachings is one thing, I was always unable to arrive at what the text actually meant until now, upon listening to this sermon by R. A. Hargrave, when he preached on the issue of the total depravity of man. Pastor Hargrave shared that it was God’s common grace that withheld man in his fallen condition from becoming as evil as he should, and this evil being reflected in the works of man’s hands, meaning the conditions of the cultures and societies of the nations. He went on to state that in the last days, during the great tribulation, God would remove this restraining influence and mankind would indeed reveal his true wicked nature. And lest there was any doubt, Pastor Hargrave specifically referenced that text.

This also should make one remember Jesus Christ’s prophecy concerning the timing of His second coming: “But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” of Matthew 24:36-39 and a similar passage in Luke 17:26-30, except that text to the Noah reference adds: “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.”

Now I have heard it asserted many a time that these texts do not refer to the societal conditions, but rather the fact that Jesus Christ’s coming will catch people completely by surprise. Of course, those who believe in doctrines that deny the literal millennial reign of Christ and instead teach that human conditions will improve as a result of the church’s increasing its influence on the world – postmillennialism especially – have an interest in downplaying the implications of Matthew 24:36-39 and Luke 17:26-30. However, of all the ways to illustrate the point “my return will catch you by surprise”, Jesus Christ chose the days of Noah, where the Bible says that “the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually” and “the earth is filled with violence through them.” And to the wickedness of the days of Noah, the Luke text adds Sodom and Gomorrah, which the Bible frequently uses as a metaphor for the depths of the human sin condition.

So, the fact that the Noah reference is repeated twice and the Sodom and Gomorrah is added to it makes it very difficult to claim that Jesus Christ was only referring to the suddenness of His appearance and not the condition of mankind when He comes again. The reason is a core rule of hermeneutics: we have to consider what the words meant to when the original audience heard them. Jesus Christ was speaking to Jews for whom “the days of Noah” and “as it was in Sodom and Gomorrah” were most definitely references to the human condition. So for Jesus Christ to use both of those (in the Luke version) very strong references to the wicked state of humanity without meaning anything by it would have only resulted in confusion and unintended meanings by the hearer, and it also makes very real the charge that Jesus Christ was trying to confuse and mislead the hearers on purpose (totally different from His parables, whose interpretations were simply hidden from people, not trying to trick or confuse them).

But 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 makes the references to Sodom and Gomorrah and the days of Noah clear. That passage most clearly refers to the last days, the time of the second coming of Jesus Christ, as such is what the entire chapter was about, and it states that the common grace of God that is restraining evil will be removed, which will allow the mystery of wickedness to work its iniquity until it results in the personification of human evil in the form of the anti-Christ (actually the beast). This will result in the last days being a time akin to the days of Noah (wickedness on a global scale) and Sodom and Gomorrah (wickedness on a local scale), so the Luke text in particular reveals the comprehensive encompassing scope and penetration of evil. In this way, it forms a curious parallel with how Luke spoke of the spread of the gospel in Acts 1:8 from Jerusalem (evangelism on a local scale) to the uttermost parts of the earth (the global reach of the great commission).

Now one may ask how this pervasive evil will be possible when the church is present sharing its witness to the world. To answer:
1. We must be humble. It isn’t our witness or example to the world that restrains evil, but rather it is God.
2. Go back to the 2 Thessalonians 2 passage to verse 3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” And incidentally, yet another parallel to Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians 2 that makes the postmillennialism doctrines even more untenable is Matthew 24:10-12’s “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The more modern translations render verse 10 to be “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another” and “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other”, and the reference to false prophets in verse 11 is obvious. Because of the great falling away, there simply won’t be very many of us left.
3. Please recall that the original Reformers referred to the righteous in the Old Testament, chiefly Israel, as the church of the Old Testament. So in the days of Noah, Noah and his family were the church of that period. Yet the presence of Noah and his being a preacher of righteousness did not stop the globe from descending into evil. And while Lot was most certainly no Noah, even in his “Laodicean” state of worldly compromise he was nonetheless the church of Sodom and Gomorrah, and his presence did not result in ten righteous people being in that city. So though God commands His church to be salt and light into the world, the reason for this is to glorify God, not to influence the world for the better. The world will remain wicked and in rebellion against God and His Son Jesus Christ, and this will be demonstrated when God removes His restraining Hand and allows the world to be exposed for what it is right before His Son returns so that it will be judged.

Now my suspicion is that the real reason why this text is interpreted erroneously by many is the desire for the church to escape persecution. However, this ignores that when the church endures persecution until the very end, God is glorified. We know this from the example of Job, the oldest book in the Bible. God told Satan that Job would remain in the faith no matter what torments Satan aimed at him, and when Job did so God was glorified. So we saints should be after doctrines that result in God’s glory and not our own comfort. We should also avoid doctrines that exaggerate our own power and importance, such as the claim that our presence on the earth is what keeps it from falling into chaos. Or that the Holy Spirit is on the earth only because we are here (clearly contradicted by Genesis 1:2, which states that the Holy Spirit was on the earth long before humankind even existed to make up a church in the first place).

Also, Revelation 13:7 states that the anti-Christ will make war against the saints and overcome them. Matthew 24:22 states that it will only be for the sake of the church that the days of the great tribulation will be cut short. Is our desire to avoid glorifying God by suffering persecution so great that we ignore what the Bible clearly teaches? One of the ways that dispensationalists who have this aberrant and false teaching concerning 2 Thessalonians 2 deals with those texts is claiming that they refer to Israel and not the church, and to the 144,000 Jews and those converted by them. As evidence of this, they correctly note that Jeremiah 30:7 refers to the great tribulation as the time of Jacob’s trouble. However, such teachings ignore that the church is grafted into Israel, and moreover that the combination of born-again Gentiles and believing Jews constitutes spiritual Israel, true Israel, or Israel of God according to Galatians 6 and Romans 9-11. (Yes, some dispensationalists deny this, and even go to the point of claiming that the new covenant is not the one that currently exists with Christ and the church, but is one that Christ will make during the millennium with natural Israel, showing that many dispensationalists are more rabbinic Jews than Christians or even Messianic Jews). This means that Jacob’s trouble is our trouble!

Again, this is not intended to be a broadside against dispensationalism and rapture teachings entirely, especially the partial rapture teachings for which Revelation 3:10 and the typology of Enoch and Elijah can be used to support, as well as perhaps the mid-tribulation rapture teachings. (Note that neither the mid-tribulation rapture or partial rapture doctrines make the totally heretical claim that the Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth.) However, it is incumbent upon the adherents to the rapture and other premillennial dispensational teachings to avoid false teachings that tickle the ears, provide false comfort, and glorify man in the place of God.

Ultimately, however, these debates are intramural in nature between Christians. Regardless of one’s eschatological beliefs, being born again means ultimately going to heaven, whether the route is being raptured before the tribulation or being beheaded by the anti-Christ during it. When the redeemed are in heaven, no one will care one bit about who was wrong and who was right concerning eschatological doctrines. And even more so, it will be totally irrelevant to those who are unsaved. Rapture, no rapture, if you have not repented of your sins and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, your eternal fate is the same as that of those of Sodom and Gomorrah and the days of Noah who did not escape the wrath of God but perished. And the horrible ends of their earthly lives was nothing compared to the eternal torment of the lake of fire that is in store for these wicked sinners.

So now is the time to make sure that you do not share their fate if you have not already. Repent of your sins and believe upon the risen Lord Jesus Christ today! You can do so by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Is The Rider On The White Horse Of Revelation 6:2 Christ Or Anti-Christ?

Posted by Job on March 9, 2011

Revelation 6:1-2 reads “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”

The predominant view in modern western fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity is that the rider of the white horse is the anti-Christ. This was my view until very recently, when I read the John Bunyan allegory “Holy War“, which altered, or should I say enhanced, my view of Jesus Christ (more on that later), just as did reading “Pilgrim’s Progress Part 1” changed my view of Christian living and Part II changed my view of the pastorate and of the church.

Allow me to say that this article provides a good reason why the rider on the white horse cannot be the anti-Christ, which is that the four horsemen are released this eschatological figure is not released until the fifth trumpet. The trumpets do not occur until the seventh seal, and the white horse is released by the first seal. So, the white horse comes at or near the beginning of the events of Revelation (presuming a linear timeline with a literal interpretation) while the anti-Christ comes well into those events. Some interpretations deal with this by claiming that the reference in Revelation 6:2 is the anti-Christ’s laying the groundwork, placing everything in order, for his full unveiling to the earth that is described later.

Well, further arguments against the rider being the anti-Christ are given in this article. It deals with how those who propose that the rider is the anti-Christ deal with the fact that white is always used to represent Godly virtue by making the statement that the anti-Christ comes in this manner to deceive people into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. However, this interpretation requires starting with the idea that the rider on the white horse is the anti-Christ, and then making everything else fit, something often called thesis-driven analysis and also called eisegesis. If your starting point was neutral concerning the identity of this character, then his being on a white horse would immediately disqualify your  associating him with the anti-Christ. But if your starting point was his being the anti-Christ, that is when you have to contrive an explanation for the horse being white, one that seems to violate all rules and standards for hermeneutics used for other passages. The question is: “Why is this done?”

It goes back to one’s view of Jesus Christ. The rider of the white horse is given a bow and he went forth to conquer, and conquer he did! Modern, humanistic, enlightenment thinking does not permit viewing Jesus Christ as the Conqueror. That is, at least not until the last day when Jesus Christ comes to judge the nations for their wickedness. That is the one time that the modern church with its man-centered mindset allows Jesus Christ, who as God is the Creator, Owner and Sustainer of the Universe, to be viewed as a conquering ruler. (And for those who believe in the rapture, this happens when the church is already off the scene, and is spared having to deal with Jesus Christ in this role.) In the modern mindset, Jesus Christ can be viewed as the sacrificial lamb, advisor, “co-pilot”, best friend, psychiatrist/psychologist, enabler, helper, moneychanger (prosperity doctrine), mystic/shaman, errand boy, and even romantic lover, but NOT as a conquerer. This stark, authoritarian, militaristic view runs counter to the modernistic Jeffersonian view that exalts such ideas as civil rights, human rights, democracy etc. above all, and needs a Jesus Christ that will bow and be conformed to it. Thus, Jesus Christ as conquerer cannot exist in the mind of the modernist/postmodernist Christian except for a single day when He is forced to execute that role with respect to the wicked. With the exception of that day, Jesus Christ remains in a construct that the modern mind finds acceptable. And according to that construct, where conquest to set up authoritarian rule is undemocratic is evil, this HAS to be the anti-Christ!

It cannot be Jesus Christ according to this mindset, because this mindset makes Jesus Christ a democrat. This Jesus Christ does not conquer. No, this Jesus Christ is standing outside the human heart like a lovesick teenage loverboy knocking on the door waiting, longing, begging for His sweetheart to come in. And it is only when the person that Jesus Christ’s target makes the free will decision to open the door to his or her heart and invite Jesus Christ in that salvation occurs.

For this to happen any other way, uninvited, unasked, and without consent, is tyranny. For Jesus Christ is not a sovereign king who rules by way of His undisputed dominion over the creation that is the work of His own hands for Him to do as He pleases. No, that is tyranny. Such rule is illegitimate, based on the threat of force rather than the consent of the governed! A true, enlightened philosopher king governs not by power or divine right, but by mutual consent! So, the one who stands at the door and knocks and will not come in without the consent of the “pilot” (for Jesus Christ is merely the co-pilot, not the actual pilot who is running the show and is the true master of eternal destiny, which is man’s free will) is Jesus Christ, the genuine article. The conquerer who does not ask permission, who does not gladly (though under submission) come when asked and does not meekly leave when rejected? Now that has to be the anti-Christ! So says the modern Christian mindset.

Thankfully, John Bunyan did not live in modern Enlightenment times! Therefore, Bunyan presents a different Jesus Christ, one that is actually present on the pages of the Bible before all the modern humanist filters and constructs are placed on it. Bunyan’s rather rough allegory presents a kingdom ruled by Shaddai (God the Father), whose most prominent and prized possession is the city Mansoul, which was built by the King Himself. While the modern mindset reared on democracy would revile the idea that a city is the possession of any king, A) this was in fact the custom of monarchs in times past – the kingdom and all in it were their possessions, and in the east the subjects of the “lord-kings” were considered slaves to the lord-king, and remember the Bible is an oriental book, not a western book and B) the Bible was fully written in the mindset of this custom. Mansoul rebelled against King Shaddai due to the provocation and trickery of Diabolus (Satan) and made Satan its king instead, under the false pretense that they could exchange status as slaves under King Shaddai’s rule to free men under his rule. Of course, Diabolus immediately made the residents of Mansoul his slaves, but so thoroughly corrupted and tricked them that they mistook the slavery of Diabolus and sin for liberation. Their delusion was so strong that when King Shaddai sent His captains (difficult to tell in the allegory, my guess is that they are angels) to liberate Mansoul from Diabolus, they resisted with all their might. The story was explicit: when Mansoul was given a multitude of opportunities to make a free will choice for King Shaddai, they rejected King Shaddai each time due to the depths of their depravity.

So, King Shaddai sent His Son, Prince Emmanuel, to recapture Mansoul. In this allegory, Emmanuel did not conquer Mansoul by standing at the door knocking and being invited in. Quite the contrary, He came with an army of soldiers and overcame the recalcitrant Mansoul, who resisted Him with all the force that it could muster – as it was still dedicated and devoted to Diabolus and its own sinful passions – with mighty force. Make no mistake, in this allegory, “and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” Mansoul! After the conquering of Mansoul was done, Prince Emmanuel had the entire town confess that He took the town for Himself as His prize by force; that when the town had the chance – indeed several chances – to yield itself up to the government of the Prince and His Father by choice, they refused each time. So, Mansoul chose the rule of Diabolus, and Prince Emmanuel gained the rule of Mansoul only by overtaking Diabolus, binding him, driving him out, and “spoiling the goods of the strongman” by declaring and setting up His own rule and domain – and through it re-establishing the same of King Shaddai – by force. Mansoul had no say in the matter, because Mansoul, by decree, election and will of God the Father its Owner and Creator – had declared it to be so. Mansoul did not choose Prince Emmanuel, but Emmanuel chose Mansoul (John 15:16).

Now, Jesus Christ as He is commonly depicted in most modern gospel music is not the rider on the white horse. But Jesus Christ as depicted in Holy War and in the Bible may well be. If nothing else, it is something to consider. Another thing to consider: why would the anti-Christ have to go about conquering the world to begin with? According to the words of Jesus Christ, Satan is already the prince of this world (John 14:30)! 2 Corinthians 4:4 declares Satan to be the god of this world, Ephesians 2:2 declares him to be the prince of the powers of the air. So, the anti-Christ does not need to conquer the world. All he needs is to have Satan’s authority transferred to him. Revelation 13:2 says exactly that: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Further, Revelation 17 says that the rulers of the earth GIVE their power to the beast, NOT that he conquers them and takes it from them by force.

This may seem like idle speculation, or an excessive emphasis on “last things” when other issues concerning orthodoxy and orthopraxy are more pressing: “minoring in the majors.” However, one’s view of last things often casts a shadow on one’s belief. Many theological liberals and “moderates” de-emphasize predictive prophecy because of an anti-supernatural bias. Others use apocalyptic texts to promote the political and social causes that are near and dear to them. And many Christians are attracted to the rapture doctrines because of their desire not to suffer persecution and rejection by the world as Christ suffered the same.

In a similar fashion, the idea that the anti-Christ is the conquerer on the white horse reveals the mindset of a great many Christian theologians, preachers, and laymen concerning the doctrine of original sin. So many Christians SAY that they believe in original sin, or even total depravity, but by adhering to such interpretations as this, it really does imply otherwise. If original sin is true, if total depravity is true, then why is it that Jesus Christ comes only by willing invitation, and the anti-Christ only by force? Is that not backwards? If the anti-Christ, the beast is “the man of sin”, then the fallen, wicked world, if it is not his already, will freely, gladly accept him as one of their own, a kindred spirit! Again, why would a sinful world oppose and resist a man of sin? Why would they not accept him and instead need to be conquered by him? Only if there is some inherent virtue, inherent goodness in him that would cause him to resist the evil rather than accept it.

The idea that the anti-Christ would have to conquer is based on the notion that man is basically good; that the nations are basically good. And is that not what so many seem to adhere to because of their political, cultural and social beliefs? That the nations – especially the pro-western capitalist democracies – are good, and only the exceptions – the anti-democratic, anti-western, authoritarian regimes – are bad.

Isn’t it curious how most of the theories about where the anti-Christ will come is from the “bad” nations? First it was from the “bad” communist regimes. Then it was from the “bad” secular humanist socialist United Nations or European Union. Now speculation centers on the “bad” Islamic regimes. The idea that the anti-Christ could come from – gasp! – America, the shining city on a hill, the nation founded on Christianity and is a beacon of freedom and goodness? Well, MAYBE, but only if he is not really one of us like Obama!

Again, it is based on the idea that there is some inherent virtue in man, and some inherent virtue in what man builds. It is based on a rejection of original sin, a rejection of total depravity. Even the very idea that Satan takes over the earth and installs the anti-Christ only when the church departs after the rapture is based on the notion that Satan is not the god of this world at present! Ironically, people who adhere to this belief are de facto amillennalists believing that rather than being the god of this world in this present age, Satan is currently bound by the church’s presence.

So many Christians who profess to be evangelical or fundamentalist and profess a belief in original sin based on the actions of Adam only apply that doctrine to soteriology. They only apply mankind’s fallen nature to the individual human soul! But when it comes time to apply it to a larger scale, they shrink back! Why? Because of their love of this present world and the things in it! To those people, James 4:4’s “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” applies to liking MTV and the New York Times editorial page and not the entire fallen worldly system! The parts of the world they like, they consider it good, moral, even Christian. It is only the part that they are alienated from, usually because of political or cultural considerations, that they consider to be “worldly.”

But go back to the text and view it in context. Yes, Revelation concerns the last days. But the letter to the Hebrews – and elsewhere in the New Testament – declares that the last days began after the work of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God’s plan and the high point of the history of creation. So, the last days – the time period that Revelation concerns itself with – is not merely the last seven years, the “great tribulation.” Instead, it concerns itself with the entire endtimes, which is now, and has been since Pentecost. That is why the letters to the churches are the first part of the Revelation. They are not introductory material to set the stage for the eschatology. Instead, they are part and parcel of the eschatology!

In that context, note that the white horse and its rider come first. It is the first seal! So, after the heavenly visions in Revelation 4-5, the white horse and its rider are the first thing that we encounter when the events shift back earthward in Revelation 6. So, why not strongly associate the white horse and rider with Jesus Christ speaking to and walking amongst the churches in Revelation 2-3? Were the material in Revelation to be arranged topically (i.e. with the things happening in heaven all together and the things happening on earth all together), that is exactly how it would appear … Revelation 6:1-2 would immediately follow the challenge to the Laodicean church!

So then, why not consider the possibility that the rider on the white horse given the bow and the crown and goes about conquering (and as this article states he does not obtain or use these things illegitimately in a manner that is against God’s will … such ideas are missing from the text) is going about to foreign lands conquering souls of sinners for God the Father? Did not Jesus Christ say in the Olivet discourse (i.e. Matthew 24:14) that the end will not come until His gospel is preached in all the world for a witness to all nations? Well, in Revelation 6, though it is certainly the last days, the end is not yet come! So, me must consider that the rider on the white horse is none other than Prince Emmanuel enlarging the domain of King Shaddai through the conquest of souls in every tribe and nation that are hardened with the total depravity of original sin.

Granted, this article does state that the rider is the Holy Spirit, not Jesus Christ. I disagree, but for my purposes the distinction is not a great one, as Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit in His Name to complete His Work through the church which is Jesus Christ’s Body, and the Holy Spirit is the One who performs regeneration. Instead, the main point is to consider the strong possibility that man-centered, humanistic thinking is the reason why the rider on the white horse was ever called the anti-Christ to begin with, especially when one has to be very inconsistent in one’s interpretation of Revelation and the Bible in general to arrive at that viewpoint.

Of course, the main point is that Jesus Christ is returning to judge the world and all its people for their wickedness. The only way to escape this judgment that is certainly to come at a time in the future that has been predetermined by God the Father is to be saved through Jesus Christ. If you have not been, I urge and entreat you that you would be so; that you too would be a conquest of Jesus Christ as was I.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

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Matthew 24 From A Post Tribulation Rapture Perspective

Posted by Job on November 6, 2007

 

geocities.com/~lasttrumpet/matt24.html

Posted in Christianity, endtimes, eschatology, post - tribulation rapture, pretribulation, prophecy, rapture, rapture mentioned in bible | Tagged: , , , | 33 Comments »

The Main Question: Did I Choose God Or Did God Choose Me?

Posted by Job on September 15, 2007

That is the fundamental question that all who call themselves Christians must confront and reconcile. Your answer to this question totally controls your view of God, your view of world events, your view of yourself, and the behavior that results. Election or conscious choice? Predestination or free will? That is what it is all about. Take for instance the vexing issues of holiness, sanctification, and purity to the Christian. If you believe one way, then those things are clearly legalism through human actions. But if you believe the other way, those things are functions of faith, grace, and love. So then, which mindset makes one more likely to believe that they can bring about God’s favor and blessings into their lives with their own actions?

Though it may appear that I am leaning towards the “God chose me” side, what of “Galatians 3:6-Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” I have noticed the passive nature of that statement with regards to Abraham, as it does not say that Abraham BECAME righteous, but rather that the status was GIVEN to him through no merit or action of his own. And consider not only that his “righteousness” was an undeserved gift, but that he was still not truly righteous. He was only declared so by God because in spite of Abraham’s UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, his original sin, his sin nature, and his past/present/future sin, God still wanted to save him.

Fine, so God chose Abraham, and Abraham did not choose God. Right? But that still leaves begging the issue that IT WAS COUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD. Can I draw that inference? Or is it wrong? If I can, or even if I am wrong but the point is still worth weighing and bandying about, what would have happened had Abraham not believed God?

It is true, God came to Abram of God’s own initiative and told him to leave Haran to become the man to whom the promise of salvation would be given. True, Abram did nothing to merit or deserve God’s election in that matter. Still, Abram did have to leave his father’s house, idolatry, and Haran behind, did he not? What would have happened had Abram said no? Of course, God still would have proceeded with His redemption plan, as despite Catholics who claim that Jesus Christ would have never been born had their Virgin Mary idol said no (their way out of that conundrum is to claim that God KNEW that Virgin Mary would say yes because God foreknew of her righteousness from the foundation of the world, but you still have to consider the implications of their doctrine in this area), God is not dependent on or a function of man or any part of His creation in any way. But that does not answer the question with regards to Abraham: what if he had said no? What would have happened to his individual soul?

And then you have Romans 1:20-32. Do you realize that after all my years of attending church and watching preachers on TV, I only heard a preacher address that passage for the first time last week? Even better, I only became aware of the existence of this passage a few weeks prior by way of this excellent Bible commentary that I acquired and have been perusing as time permits. Had I known about Romans 1:20-32 (I read it as I have read the Bible completely several times, but only now retained and understood it) I would have never constructed this exceedingly long rambling bit of false doctrine FAITH DOES NOT COME BY HEARING for my original website that thankfully virtually no one ever visited despite my many efforts to attract people to it. (As to why I have not deleted the old website materials yet, the reason is that it is still expedient for me at this present time in my spiritual development to remember how bizarre my thinking was back when I was in by Word of Faith/prosperity doctrine/TBN syncophant phase.)

In any event, the main idea of Romans 1:20-32 appears to be that God freely offered Himself to all mankind, and that mankind rejected Him in order to chase after their own sinful hearts. So the same question reappears in a different from: where prior what if Abraham had said no, now it is what if mankind had said YES? While that might appear to be a more vexing problem, the solution is actually simpler: Matthew 20:16 and Matthew 22:14 both say that many are called but few are chosen. While it is dangerous to apply those or any scripture for that matter out of their immediate context (that is the intended meaning of those words to the intended audience both when and where Jesus Christ said them and Matthew wrote them) it is clear that no matter what happens when God calls you, SAVE GOD CALLS A PERSON THAT PERSON CANNOT BE SAVED! And that answers both the Galatians 3:6 and Romans 1:20-32 manifestations of the same question. If you focus on the fact that Abraham said yes, then you are man – centered in your doctrine, and that inevitably leads to having a man – pleasing religion. The same is true if you focus on mankind’s rejection of God in the beginning.

But if you instead focus on the fact that God gave an opportunity to Abraham and to the human race that they did not earn or deserve and that God had no obligation to give, then you are God – centered in your outlook. Instead of having a man – centered religion, you will have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through grace. That is what God is offering you right now in the time and place of His choosing and on His terms. I urgently entreat you to accept His offer right now. Please follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

And for those who have already accepted Christ, please remember that God chose you. Keeping that in remembrance should prevent you from living your life to please people, including yourself. It should cause you to reject doctrines and ministries that are centering around uplifting and glorifying people, including preachers that are famous because they make people feel good, usually by way of offering them ways to avoid responsibility for their actions, i.e. the very popular “no one has the right to judge!” notion that is very popular among many who claim to be Christ’s today, as well as the humanistic psychoanalytical navel gazing trends that allows you to blame everything on “issues in your past” (especially if you are female, which is an explanation for why women so outnumber men in the church, a problem that can be corrected by preaching the real gospel and demanding that BOTH SEXES live according to it).

God chose you because He loves you. But it is not a one way street: you have to love Him back! And the only way to love God that is given in scripture is to keep His Commandments. John 14:15 is the most important verse in the Bible when it comes to practical Christian living, yet it and its implications are hardly spoken of in the church today. If there is any ministry that claims to offer some other way for you to love, serve, worship, or get to know God than through complete obedience and trust in Him at all times in every facet of your life, you are following false doctrine from a false preacher and should leave NOW without looking back.

Jesus Christ reminded His disciples that they did not choose Him, but rather He chose they. And yes, one of the chosen included Judas Iscariot! Did Judas Iscariot believe? If so, did he obey? Those questions are unknown to history, and it is better that way. But person who calls yourself a Christian, never forget this: your notion of whether you chose God or God chose you could be the very thing that determines whether you are one of Judas Iscariot’s brethren, and whether it would have been better for you had you never been born. Think about that and what John 14:15 means in your life, now and henceforth.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, false doctrine, feminism, great tribulation, legalism, pretribulation, salvation | 4 Comments »

Why Did God Create The Unsaved?

Posted by Job on September 5, 2007

Comment by IndependentConservative:

It’s a good video, but they decided to jump into an “inside” debate that does nothing to enhance the good they were explaining in the earlier part of the video.

God gave some to the Lord Jesus and the Lord calls them to Himself. This was established before the foundation of the world. For us it plays out as us accepting Christ, but God fashions the vessels and we should not dismiss His sovereignty, Romans 9.

See The Apostle Paul Knew Predestination is Real.

The bottom line is that people hear the Gospel and sometimes reject it. Why? Because the Lord never opens their hearts to Him. Flesh can’t desire righteousness, flesh desires sin. To desire better is a work of the Lord alone. 

Please, if you have not already, follow The Three Step Salvation Plan right now!

Posted in anti - Christ, Calvinism, Christianity, evangelical christian, false doctrine, false preachers, feminism, global warming evangelical christian, Jesus Christ, pretribulation, salvation, salvation through Jesus Christ | 3 Comments »

Pat Robertson FALSELY Calls Christian Persecution Our Greatest Threat!

Posted by Job on August 29, 2007

See this link: cbn.com/cbnnews/221156.aspx

As usual, Robertson has it all wrong. The Bible says for us to pay no heed to those that persecute us; indeed to pray for them that spitefully misuse us (see ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/fs/fs_09.htm). Also, Acts 5:40-41 shows us that the early church thanked God for their persecution! Jesus Christ said that if He was maltreated, should not we be so? Is the servant (us) greater than the master (Christ)? Facing persecution is evidence that we are actually serving God! The person who suffers persecution in God’s Name should thank God for it. The person who is suffering no persecution (or is suffering as a result not of God’s actions but his own) is the one that should seek God urgently, not for persecution, but so that such a person would have a relationship with God and learn how to obey Him, not for the persecution’s sake, but for God’s sake.

I talk about persecution on this weblog not for the “woe is us woe is us!” factor, but rather to show Christians what real Christianity is, and what real Christianity should be girding themselves up to expect both in this time and in the time of great sorrows to come. Now though I am a post – tribulationist and this is not to be taken as a direct criticism of pre – tribulationism itself, it is false teachers like Robertson in their pretending that Christian persecution is in any way exceptional – rather than something that is to be expected by the people of God living in a world that hates and has rejected God – that create the false image that Christians will be taken out of this world in the rapture before anything bad really happens to us.  So, in this respects, the notion of “God is going to come get us before anything really bad starts happening to us” is not the false doctrine of pre – tribulationism per se, because even the time leading up to and immediately preceding the seven official years of the great tribulation is supposed to be mighty terrible for Christians and everyone else, and Jesus Christ says this in Matthew 24 (which incidentally also makes it obvious that pre – tribulationism is false, see Correlating Don Imus, Christians, Blacks, Women, And The Rapture). But this notion that God has this obligation to save us before we Christians – especially the ones in the west that are used to freedom, wealth, and the pleasures and cares of the world – have to so much as get a hangnail is precisely the source of a lot of this false “Christian Zionism” doctrine preached by the likes of Robertson, John Hagee, and so many leading televangelists.

So unlike some people that take a much stronger view against pre – tribulation as in Mike Ratliff’s article What is the Great Delusion?, claiming that it is the problem itself, I take the view that it is people like Robertson that weave pre – tribulationism into the larger overall context of false doctrines that is the problem. And few are better at this than Robertson, who as usual, is playing on the fears and emotions of Christians.

So no, Christians, our greatest threat does NOT come from those that hate and persecute us, and that includes even the anti – Christ, the beast, the man of sin whom your tribulation doctrine denies that Christians will have to face. Instead, our greatest threat is INTERNAL, coming from those who traffic in false doctrines to serve the false god of mammon (money and power) like the billionaire Robertson (who has his malleable appointees all over the Bush administration Was Monica Goodling Taken Advantage Of By Pat Robertson and George Bush?) and Hagee, who is making a direct play for Robertson’s money and power (and see The Rapture Cult – Its Power, Influence and Secret agenda, though I do not endorse everything in it).

But do not let these false preachers scare you. If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior follow the The Three Step Salvation Plan. If you have, then follow true Bible – based Christianity so that you will not be vulnerable to the deceptions of false preachers and teachers.

Posted in Apologetics, bangladesh, beast, Bible, CAIR, China, Christian hypocrisy, Christian Persecution, Christian persecution Palestinian Israel, Christian Zionism, Christianity, Christians United For Israel, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false teachers, false teaching, gay marriage, George Bush, homosexuality, innocent blood, Joel Osteen, John Hagee, labor shortage, mammon, mexico, nepal, Palestinian persecution, Pat Robertson, political correctness, post - tribulation rapture, post abortion syndrome, pretribulation, religious right, Republican, sexual exploitation, socialism, somalia, syncretism, Tim LaHaye | 2 Comments »

Covenant Theology Versus Dispensationalism

Posted by Job on August 14, 2007

Covenant and Dispensational Theology

Covenant and Dispensational Theology Part (2)

Covenant and Dispensational Theology Part (3)

Covenant and Dispensational Theology *conclusion

Spurgeon and Eschatology

Posted in catholic, Christian persecution Palestinian Israel, Christianity, dalit, endtimes, eschatology, false religion, great tribulation, harpagesometha, homosexuality, Jesus camp, Left Behind, Martin Luther King, mexico, modalism, political correctness, post - tribulation rapture, postmillennialism, pretribulation, prophecy, rapture | Leave a Comment »

Comparison Of Calvinism And Arminianism

Posted by Job on August 4, 2007

http://www.the-highway.com/compare.html

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, pretribulation | Leave a Comment »

Once Saved Always Saved: Is This How The Holy Spirit Works?

Posted by Job on July 19, 2007

Well, for this I have to credit (or blame) the most excellent brother Laz, even if he didn’t do it on purpose! Motivated by a post asserting the opposite by Independent Conservative, I posted by beliefs Christians: Once Saved Always Saved? I Say Not So! to which Laz made this reply during which he referenced the argument of a oneness pentecostal. Perhaps unknown to Laz, the three issues that I am extremely emotional about in no particular order are 1) abortion, 2) anti – Trinitarians, and 3) those who mislead Christians into thinking that they are old covenant Israel (which is done not only explicitly with false Christian teaching but also implicitly through religious right politics). I also somehow totally misunderstood Laz’s post (though I read it several times!) into thinking that he was, while debating the opposite point, citing views that were similar to mine expressed by an anti – Trinitarian in the course of making his argument. Result: I made this comment to the effect of “I will become a five point Calvinist before I ever side with a oneness heretic over a brother in Christ.” Laz quickly corrected my error, but it was too late: I had already said (or written) it, and could not take it back! (Which is precisely why the Bible calls speaking in haste or out of emotion a sin.) So, I was stuck thinking about the issue all day long, and the excellent replies that I received from Steven, Marge, Marcus, Laz, Independent Conservative, etc. weren’t helping.

Now lately I have been giving into the temptation of listening to talk radio even though it is not good for a person with a temperament such as mine, and as it happens they are talking about the Michael Vick case ad nauseum. I stopped being a fan of Michael Vick when he gave a woman herpes, I was so frustrated with the pro – abortion PETA crowd who love dogs more than people on the radio (including this ESPN radio host who claims that “we should have EVOLVED to the point where we no longer enjoy dogfighting”) that I wasn’t exactly the peacemaker at work that God called me to be the rest of my workday! So later when I again turned on talk radio while driving home and heard more Michael Vick news, a little whisper tells me “Now you know that you caused all sorts of trouble that your coworkers didn’t need today because you let something that you shouldn’t have been listening to anyway get you angry. The Bob George Show is on right now on 1010 AM, turn to that.” (Bob George is great Christian teacher, his website is http://realanswers.net).

I do so, and this sweet old lady who has been ATTENDING CHURCH ALL OF HER LONG LIFE called in because she was vexed by the whole salvation thing. The churches that she had been attending, apparently, had neglected to tell her the meaning of what Jesus Christ did for her on the cross, and as a result she had spent her entire life trying to work her way out of the lake of fire. Apparently, she had made several such calls in a short period of time on this topic, because the hosts of this nationwide live show knew her and put her right on. So the host explained (and I could tell that it wasn’t the first time) how once you accept Christ, God forgives all of your past, present, and future sins. I do not remember all of her questions or his responses, but he broke it down for her. I do think I remember this exchange when the woman, filled with emotion, “But what if I sin and can’t stop sinning? How I handle that, and what does God do or feel about that?” If I recall, something to the effect was “Well you can either go out and find yourself a calf or lamb to go sacrifice, or you can start trusting God for your salvation.”

The notion of a sweet little old lady that had been attending church all of her life wracked with fear and guilt over sin was extremely disturbing to me. And yes, I was also mindful of my own sin just a few short hours earlier of causing strife and confusion on my job. And on top of all that, I was still thinking of my hasty reply to Laz earlier, what it meant in general intellectual terms, what it meant to my own recent sin, and what it meant to this terrified old lady in emotional turmoil on the phone. So while I had always given agreement by virtue of “intellectual assent” to “God forgives all of your past, present, and future sins upon salvation”, I had never stopped to think what that ACTUALLY MEANS. That is, until now.

Well, the good news is that the sweet little old lady FINALLY understood and believed and began to trust Jesus Christ and not dead works of religion or her church, pastor, or doctrine for her salvation that day. Now I fully expect this woman to be attacked by Satan, so I must remember to pray for her though I know not her name or anything else about her. But I now had something to think about regarding my “you can’t lose your salvation but you can throw it away” personal doctrine. If all of your past, present, and FUTURE sins are forgiven when God saves you, then the present or future sin that would cause you to allegedly “throw your salvation away” is already forgiven! And if your sin is already forgiven even before you commit it? How can it possibly throw your salvation away? The answer is simple: it cannot. It is forever dealt with, done, cast away, removed, forgotten, as far from you as the east is from the west. You cannot undo what God has done. What God does is not dependent on man. God’s operation is not a function of man. And it cannot be that God has forgiven your past and present sins but not your future ones, because that does not fit my own personal concept of God: an eternal spirit that exists outside of time. Since God exists outside of time, He does not have to wait for you to commit some future sin to forgive it. He does not need one procedure for your past sin, this thing for your present sin, and a separate process for your future sin: existing timelessly in eternity has its advantages! Thus, I repeat, you cannot “throw away your salvation” with an action or even a series of actions that God has already forgiven you for!

So then, it is true. I can no longer deny it. Once saved always saved. This is going to permanently alter how I view Christianity and in a very significant fashion, including totally changing my approach to reading scripture.

Posted in Apologetics, Calvinism, Christianity, false doctrine, feminism, grace, innocent blood, mohammed, predestination, pretribulation, salvation | 26 Comments »

Does Jeremiah 32:38-40 Speak Of Free Will? I Say Not

Posted by Job on July 16, 2007

Was elated when in this book I happened to be reading I saw them assert Jeremiah 32:38-40 as evidence of free will in some fashion. But after reading the scripture, it is actually the opposite. It was a prophecy that under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit would seal one who is saved. Jeremiah 32:38-40 states “And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

“And I will give them one heart” = indwelling Holy Spirit. “that they may fear me for ever” and “but I will put my fear in their hearts” = law written in your heart, Holy Spirit will grieve and vex you and not allow you to continue in sin. “that they shall not depart from me” = the Holy Spirit will seal you, not allow you to fall or any man or spirit to take you out of God’s Hand.

Now the context that the theologian gave this scripture vis a vis free will was that perhaps God allowed free will to exist PRIOR to this, but now it has been taken away. I disagree. It speaks not of allowing people to choose or reject God at any point, but rather giving people under the new covenant supernatural assistance to prevent them from falling into sin and from continually sinning. So, my search for scriptures that bear evidence of free will continues.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, false doctrine, feminism, innocent blood, mohammed, predestination, pretribulation, salvation | 8 Comments »

Christians: Once Saved Always Saved? I Say Not So!

Posted by Job on July 16, 2007

They say that if you can lose your salvation then Jesus Christ died in vain. God forbid that Christ’s death would be in vain. However, it is my contention that while you cannot lose your salvation, you can throw it away. Otherwise, why would the terms “heretic”, “backslider”, and “apostate” exist? Those do not apply to unbelievers, including pretend Christians that were never truly saved, but instead to those that have abandoned the faith. For scriptural evidence of this, first reference the warnings of Jesus Christ to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Second, consider Paul’s warnings in Galatians for the church not to be deceived by false doctrines that cause them to deny that they were saved by faith. Third, and most explicitly, consider I Corinthians 5:1 – 5, where Paul speaks of one that they delivered unto Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul would be spared on the day of judgment, meaning that his life would be prematurely ended before he became reprobate due to his sin. “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Speaking of reprobation, consider the popularity of the prosperity/Word of Faith doctrines that are drawing so many Christians from other denominations and movements with their promises and claims of mighty miracles and works. While a lot of that is Christians leaving dead and liberal Christianity seeking some sort of fundamentalism, those that are merely seeking things for themselves or who with their fascination with the minors give up the majors should heed what 1 Timothy 6:1-10 says of those who preach that godliness is gain (meaning that the gospel can be used to gain wealth, or that wealth is a sign of one’s righteousness and standing with God): they will be delivered unto reprobation. One can presume that the Christian who follows the reprobate preacher will find himself also reprobate in short order. Further, consider what Revelation 22:19 says about false prophets and preachers that deny the Truth of the Word of God: “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” That false preachers and those who follow them are delivered unto such a state by God to me indicates that they were not in that state initially, but were allowed to become so because of their blaspheming against the true gospel and deceiving people with false doctrines.

Christians must endure and overcome to receive their reward. Matthew 10:22 – “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” It is a consistent theme in scripture that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those believers that overcome and endure to the end. That instruction is given to all seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Consider the stark contrast of the Smyrna church of which Jesus Christ stated no fault and the Laodicean church of which He stated no good. Now I can see where one might try to claim that the Laodiceans were not really saved and the overcoming and enduring to the end is in reference to getting actually saved, but how can that possibly be directed towards the Smyrna church? Yet Jesus Christ had to tell the Smyrna church to be faithful unto death to get their crown of life (Revelation 2:10). The most explicit example: Revelation 2:26, the words of Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior Himself: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.

So, fellow believer, it is my contention that the concept that one can fall from the grace of God is given explicitly and implicitly throughout scripture. I would propose that King Saul was the first example of one who rejected the grace of God with his own persistent disobedience with Demas who forsook Paul (2 Timothy 4:10) perhaps being the last (it also appears that Hymenaeus and Alexander were delivered unto Satan (1 Timothy 1:20) by Paul to prevent them from going as far as Demas did).

Perhaps my main reason for believing that one can renounce the gift of salvation with persistent sin: my conviction that God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). And what does Romans 6 mean after all? I know that it contains these passages: Romans 6:1-2aWhat shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” and Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I know that there are many verses in Romans 6 that says that the person that continues in sin was never saved to begin with. Fine, but what of 1 John 1:8-10? “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” I say to the Christian that 1 John 1:8-10 should give you reassurance, but Romans 6:23 should keep you vigilant. In other words, the perfect balance to be found in God’s Word.

Now I realize that: “Once saved always saved” is classic Protestant doctrine, so I welcome all comments from those with opposing viewpoints. I particularly wish to hear alternate interpretations of the “deliver one unto Satan” references. Another thing: please thoughtfully consider this section on apostasy from Biblegateway: http://www.biblegateway.com/topical/topical_resource.php?source=1&tid=337.

Posted in Apologetics, CAIR, Calvinism, Christianity, contemplative prayer, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false teachers, false teaching, feminism, George Bush, global warming, innocent blood, mohammed, political correctness, post abortion syndrome, predestination, pretribulation, prosperity doctrine, Republican, salvation, somalia, syncretism, terrorism, Tim LaHaye, Word of Faith | 29 Comments »

Excellent Post On Predestination From A Free Will Christian

Posted by Job on July 15, 2007

http://astudent.wordpress.com/2007/07/15/election-or-predestination/

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, false doctrine, feminism, innocent blood, mohammed, predestination, pretribulation, salvation | 1 Comment »

Acts 13:48 – Free Will Versus Election And Predestination

Posted by Job on July 13, 2007

Acts 13:48 – And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Well, that is rather explicit, especially when you consider its context, because this verse concludes a “salvation narrative”, the prior verses of which Paul was preaching the gospel, Acts 13:16-49Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. And about the time of forty years suffered he their manners in the wilderness. And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. And after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet. And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think ye that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.  And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.”

Kind of hard for this free will Christian to get around that one, isn’t it? Oh well. I will try. The next time I can find a Bible verse to support it.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, Council on Foreign Relations, evangelical christian, false doctrine, feminism, global warming evangelical christian, how to be saved, innocent blood, interfaith dialogue, mohammed, predestination, pretribulation, salvation, salvation through Jesus Christ | 2 Comments »

 
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