Jesus Christ Is Lord

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Posts Tagged ‘John Wesley’

Roman Catholics Deny That Jesus Christ Died In Our Place!

Posted by Job on July 27, 2009

Apparently, the idea of the vicarious or substitutionary atonement is inconvenient to Catholic sacramentalist doctrines, including the idea that Christ’s first sacrifice was not enough and that He must be sacrificed over and over and over again. Protestants who have a tendency to defend Catholics because they profess to be Christians and belief in certain vital doctrines and because many of them are very fervent, faithful and dedicated to their beliefs (and also Protestants who follow in the ecumenical path blazed by such figures as John Wesley and Billy Graham) at some point need to confront the issue of what Roman Catholics actually believe. It is more than just the fact that they worship dead people (Mary and “saints”) and angels (and don’t give me this “they don’t worship them, it is merely veneration lie, Biblical Christianity has always held that the object of prayer is also the object of worship, plus only God alone is worthy of worship AND veneration, no creature is worthy of being venerated) although the idolatry certainly is bad enough. It is also their position on core doctrines concerning Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that so many leading evangelicals like the aforementioned Graham and prominent theologian Clark Pinnock went from promoting and supporting ecumenical (or to be honest INTERFAITH as Roman Catholicism is a separate and distinct religion from Christianity) ties with Roman Catholics to promoting “many paths to heaven” religious pluralism, or “inclusivism.” Incidentally, according to Wikipedia people who support “inclusivism” include:

Supporters of inclusivism include C. S. Lewis, John Wesley, Clark Pinnock, Karl Rahner, John E. Sanders, Terrance L. Tiessen (Reformed) and Robert Brush (contributor to the Arminian Magazine). While Billy Graham faithfully preached “salvation by faith in Christ alone” throughout his 60 year ministry as an evangelist, he has recently made controversial comments that border on inclusivism (but he does not like to refer to it by the term, because he is concerned that many people mean universalism when they refer to inclusivism)This doctrine is held by Roman Catholics and Seventh-day Adventists.

All the more reason why Christians should not defile themselves with things concerning Rome (or for that matter with Eastern Orthodox or other flavors of “Catholicism”).

From Theories of the Atonement

Doctrine of the Atonement Catholic Information

The word atonement, which is almost the only theological term of English origin, has a curious history. The verb “atone”, from the adverbial phrase “at one” (M.E. at oon), at first meant to reconcile, or make “at one”; from this it came to denote the action by which such reconciliation was effected, e.g. satisfaction for all offense or an injury. Hence, in Catholic theology, the Atonement is the Satisfaction of Christ, whereby God and the world are reconciled or made to be at one. “For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The Catholic doctrine on this subject is set forth in the sixth Session of the Council of Trent, chapter ii. Having shown the insufficiency of Nature, and of Mosaic Law the Council continues:

Whence it came to pass, that the Heavenly Father, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1, 3), when that blessed fullness of the time was come (Galatians 4:4) sent unto men Jesus Christ, His own Son who had been, both before the Law and during the time of the Law, to many of the holy fathers announced and promised, that He might both redeem the Jews, who were under the Law and that the Gentiles who followed not after justice might attain to justice and that all men might receive the adoption of sons. Him God had proposed as a propitiator, through faith in His blood (Romans 3:25), for our sins, and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world (I John ii, 2).

More than twelve centuries before this, the same dogma was proclaimed in the words of the Nicene Creed, “who for us men and for our salvation, came down, took flesh, was made man; and suffered. “And all that is thus taught in the decrees of the councils may be read in the pages of the New Testament. For instance, in the words of Our Lord, “even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many” (Matthew 20:28); or of St. Paul, “Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven.” (Colossians 1:19-20). The great doctrine thus laid down in the beginning was further unfolded and brought out into clearer light by the work of the Fathers and theologians. And it may be noted that in this instance the development is chiefly due to Catholic speculation on the mystery, and not, as in the case of other doctrines, to controversy with heretics. At first we have the central fact made known in the Apostolic preaching, that mankind was fallen and was raised up and redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ. But it remained for the pious speculation of Fathers and theologians to enter into the meaning of this great truth, to inquire into the state of fallen man, and to ask how Christ accomplished His work of Redemption. By whatever names or figures it may be described, that work is the reversal of the Fall, the blotting out of sin, the deliverance from bondage, the reconciliation of mankind with God. And it is brought to pass by the Incarnation, by the life, the sufferings, and the death of the Divine Redeemer. All this may be summed up in the word Atonement. This, is so to say, the starting point. And herein all are indeed at one. But, when it was attempted to give a more precise account of the nature of the Redemption and the manner of its accomplishment, theological speculation took different courses, some of which were suggested by the various names and figures under which this ineffable mystery is adumbrated in Holy Scripture. Without pretending to give a full history of the discussions, we may briefly indicate some of the main lines on which the doctrine was developed, and touch on the more important theories put forward in explanation of the Atonement.

(a) In any view, the Atonement is founded on the Divine Incarnation. By this great mystery, the Eternal Word took to Himself the nature of man and, being both God and man, became the Mediator between God and men. From this, we have one of the first and most profound forms of theological speculation on the Atonement, the theory which is sometimes described as Mystical Redemption. Instead of seeking a solution in legal figures, some of the great Greek Fathers were content to dwell on the fundamental fact of the Divine Incarnation. By the union of the Eternal Word with the nature of man all mankind was lifted up and, so to say, deified. “He was made man”, says St. Athanasius, “that we might be made gods” (De Incarnatione Verbi, 54). “His flesh was saved, and made free the first of all, being made the body of the Word, then we, being concorporeal therewith, are saved by the same (Orat., II, Contra Arianos, lxi). And again, “For the presence of the Saviour in the flesh was the price of death and the saving of the whole creation (Ep. ad Adelphium, vi). In like manner St. Gregory of Nazianzus proves the integrity of the Sacred Humanity by the argument, “That which was not assumed is not healed; but that which is united to God is saved” (to gar aproslepton, atherapeuton ho de henotai to theu, touto kai sozetai). This speculation of the Greek Fathers undoubtedly contains a profound truth which is sometimes forgotten by later authors who are more intent on framing juridical theories of ransom and satisfaction. But it is obvious that this account of the matter is imperfect, and leaves much to be explained. It must be remembered, moreover, that the Fathers themselves do not put this forward as a full explanation. For while many of their utterances might seem to imply that the Redemption was actually accomplished by the union of a Divine Person with the human nature, it is clear from other passages that they do not lose sight of the atoning sacrifice. The Incarnation is, indeed, the source and the foundation of the Atonement, and these profound thinkers have, so to say, grasped the cause and its effects as one vast whole. Hence they look on to the result before staying to consider the means by which it was accomplished.

(b) But something more on this matter had already been taught in the preaching of the Apostles and in the pages of the New Testament. The restoration of fallen man was the work of the Incarnate Word. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). But the peace of that reconciliation was accomplished by the death of the Divine Redeemer, “making peace through the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20). This redemption by death is another mystery, and some of the Fathers in the first ages are led to speculate on its meaning, and to construct a theory in explanation. Here the words and figures used in Holy Scripture help to guide the current of theological thought. Sin is represented as a state of bondage or servitude, and fallen man is delivered by being redeemed, or bought with a price. “For you are bought with a great price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because thou wast slain, and hast redeemed to God, in thy blood” (Revelation 5:9). Looked at in this light, the Atonement appears as the deliverance from captivity by the payment of a ransom. This view is already developed in the second century. “The mighty Word and true Man reasonably redeeming us by His blood, gave Himself a ransom for those who had been brought into bondage. And since the Apostasy unjustly ruled over us, and, whereas we belonged by nature to God Almighty, alienated us against nature and made us his own disciples, the Word of God, being mighty in all things, and failing not in His justice, dealt justly even with the Apostasy itself, buying back from it the things which were His own” (Irenaeus Aversus Haereses V, i). And St. Augustine says in well-known words: “Men were held captive under the devil and served the demons, but they were redeemed from captivity. For they could sell themselves. The Redeemer came, and gave the price; He poured forth his blood and bought the whole world. Do you ask what He bought? See what He gave, and find what He bought. The blood of Christ is the price. How much is it worth? What but the whole world? What but all nations?” (Enarratio in Psalm xcv, n. 5).

It cannot be questioned that this theory also contains a true principle. For it is founded on the express words of Scripture, and is supported by many of the greatest of the early Fathers and later theologians. But unfortunately, at first, and for a long period of theological history, this truth was somewhat obscured by a strange confusion, which would seem to have arisen from the natural tendency to take a figure too literally, and to apply it in details which were not contemplated by those who first made use of it. It must not be forgotten that the account of our deliverance from sin is set forth in figures. Conquest, captivity, and ransom are familiar facts of human history. Man, having yielded to the temptations of Satan, was like to one overcome in battle. Sin, again, is fitly likened to a state of slavery. And when man was set free by the shedding of Christ’s precious Blood, this deliverance would naturally recall (even if it had not been so described in Scripture) the redemption of a captive by the payment of a ransom.

But however useful and illuminating in their proper place, figures of this kind are perilous in the hands of those who press them too far, and forget that they are figures. This is what happened here. When a captive is ransomed the price is naturally paid to the conqueror by whom he is held in bondage. Hence, if this figure were taken and interpreted literally in all its details, it would seem that the price of man’s ransom must be paid to Satan. The notion is certainly startling, if not revolting. Even if brave reasons pointed in this direction, we might well shrink from drawing the concluslon. And this is in fact so far from being the case that it seems hard to find any rational explanation of such a payment, or any right on which it could be founded. Yet, strange to say, the bold flight of theological speculation was not checked by these misgivings. In the above-cited passage of St. Irenæus, we read that the Word of God “dealt justly even with the Apostasy itself [i.e. Satan], buying back from it the things which were His own.” This curious notion, apparently first mooted by St. Irenæus, was taken up by Origen in the next century, and for about a thousand years it played a conspicuous part in the history of theology. In the hands of some of the later Fathers and medieval writers, it takes various forms, and some of its more repulsive features are softened or modified. But the strange notion of some right, or claim, on the part of Satan is still present. A protest was raised by St. Gregory of Nazianzus in the fourth century, as might be expected from that most accurate of the patristic theologians. But it was not till St. Anselm and Abelard had met it with unanswerable arguments that its power was finally broken. It makes a belated appearance in the pages of Peter Lombard. (c) But it is not only in connection with the theory of ransom that we meet with this notion of “rights” on the part of Satan. Some of the Fathers set the matter in a different aspect. Fallen man, it was said, was justly under the dominion of the devil, in punishment for sin. But when Satan brought suffering and death on the sinless Saviour, he abused his power and exceeded his right, so that he was now justly deprived of his dominion over the captives. This explanation is found especially in the sermons of St. Leo and the “Morals” of St. Gregory the Great. Closely allied to this explanation is the singular “mouse-trap” metaphor of St. Augustine. In this daring figure of speech, the Cross is regarded as the trap in which the bait is set and the enemy is caught. “The Redeemer came and the deceiver was overcome. What did our Redeemer do to our Captor? In payment for us He set the trap, His Cross, with His blood for bait. He [Satan] could indeed shed that blood; but he deserved not to drink it. By shedding the blood of One who was not his debtor, he was forced to release his debtors” (Serm. cxxx, part 2).

(d) These ideas retained their force well into the Middle Ages. But the appearance of St. Anselm’s “Cur Deus Homo?” made a new epoch in the theology of the Atonement. It may be said, indeed, that this book marks an epoch in theological literature and doctrinal development. There are not many works, even among those of the greatest teachers, that can compare in this respect with the treatise of St. Anselm. And, with few exceptions, the books that have done as much to influence and guide the growth of theology are the outcome of some great struggle with heresy; while others, again, only summarize the theological learning of the age. But this little book is at once purely pacific and eminently original. Nor could any dogmatic treatise well be more simple and unpretending than this luminous dialogue between the great archbishop and his disciple Boso. There is no parade of learning, and but little in the way of appeal to authorities. The disciple asks and the master answers; and both alike face the great problem before them fearlessly, but at the same time with all due reverence and modesty. Anselm says at the outset that he will not so much show his disciple the truth he needs, as seek it along with him; and that when he says anything that is not confirmed by higher authority, it must be taken as tentative, and provisional. He adds that, though he may in some measure meet the question, one who is wiser could do it better; and that, whatever man may know or say on this subject, there will always remain deeper reasons that are beyond him. In the same spirit he concludes the whole treatise by submitting it to reasonable correction at the hands of others.

It may be safely said that this is precisely what has come to pass. For the theory put forward by Anselm has been modified by the work of later theologians, and confirmed by the testimony of truth. In contrast to some of the other views already noticed, this theory is remarkably clear and symmetrical. And it is certainly more agreeable to reason than the “mouse-trap” metaphor, or the notion of purchase money paid to Satan. Anselm’s answer to the question is simply the need of satisfaction of sin. No sin, as he views the matter, can be forgiven without satisfaction. A debt to Divine justice has been incurred; and that debt must needs be paid. But man could not make this satisfaction for himself; the debt is something far greater than he can pay; and, moreover, all the service that he can offer to God is already due on other titles. The suggestion that some innocent man, or angel, might possibly pay the debt incurred by sinners is rejected, on the ground that in any case this would put the sinner under obligation to his deliverer, and he would thus become the servant of a mere creature. The only way in which the satisfaction could be made, and men could be set free from sin, was by the coming of a Redeemer who is both God and man. His death makes full satisfaction to the Divine Justice, for it is something greater than all the sins of all mankind. Many side questions are incidentally treated in the dialogue between Anselm and Boso. But this is the substance of the answer given to the great question, “Cur Deus Homo?”. Some modern writers have suggested that this notion of deliverance by means of satisfaction may have a German origin. For in old Teutonic laws a criminal might pay the wergild instead of undergoing punishment. But this custom was not peculiar or to the Germans, as we may see from the Celtic eirig, and, as Riviere has pointed out, there is no need to have recourse to this explanation. For the notion of satisfaction for sin was already present in the whole system of ecclesiastical penance, though it had been left for Anselm to use it in illustration of the doctrine of the Atonement. It may be added that the same idea underlies the old Jewish “sin-offerings” as well as the similar rites that are found in many ancient religions. It is specially prominent in the rites and prayers used on the Day of Atonement. And this, it may be added, is now the ordinary acceptance of the word; to “atone” is to give satisfaction, or make amends, for an offense or an injury.

(e) Whatever may be the reason, it is clear that this doctrine was attracting special attention in the age of St. Anselm. His own work bears witness that it was undertaken at the urgent request of others who wished to have some new light on this mystery. To some extent, the solution offered by Anselm seems to have satisfied these desires, though, in the course of further discussion, an important part of his theory, the absolute necessity of Redemption and of satisfaction for sin, was discarded by later theologians, and found few defenders. But meanwhile, within a few years of the appearance of the “Cur Deus Homo?” another theory on the subject had been advanced by Abelard. In common with St. Anselm, Abelard utterly rejected the old and then still prevailing, notion that the devil had some sort of right over fallen man, who could only be justly delivered by means of a ransom paid to his captor. Against this he very rightly urges, with Anselm, that Satan was clearly guilty of injustice in the matter and could have no right to anything but punishment. But, on the other hand, Abelard was unable to accept Anselm’s view that an equivalent satisfaction for sin was necessary, and that this debt could only be paid by the death of the Divine Redeemer. He insists that God could have pardoned us without requiring satisfaction. And, in his view, the reason for the Incarnation and the death of Christ was the pure love of God. By no other means could men be so effectually turned from sin and moved to love God. Abelard’s teaching on this point, as on others, was vehemently attacked by St. Bernard. But it should be borne in mind that some of the arguments urged in condemnation of Abelard would affect the position of St. Anselm also, not to speak of later Catholic theology.

In St. Bernard’s eyes it seemed that Abelard, in denying the rights of Satan, denied the “Sacrament of Redemption” and regarded the teaching and example of Christ as the sole benefit of the Incarnation. “But”, as Mr. Oxenham observes,

he had not said so, and he distinctly asserts in his “Apology” that “the Son of God was incarnate to deliver us from the bondage of sin and yoke of the Devil and to open to us by His death the gate of eternal life.” And St. Bernard himself, in this very Epistle, distinctly denies any absolute necessity for the method of redemption chosen, and suggests a reason for it not so very unlike Abelard’s. “Perhaps that method is the best, whereby in a land of forgetfulness and sloth we might be more powerfully as vividly reminded of our fall, through the so great and so manifold sufferings of Him who repaired it.” Elsewhere when not speaking controversially, he says still more plainly: “Could not the Creator have restored His work without that difficulty? He could, but He preferred to do it at his own cost, lest any further occasion should be given for that worst and most odious vice of ingratitude in man” (Bern., Serm. xi, in Cant.). What is this but to say, with Abelard that “He chose the Incarnation as the most effectual method for eliciting His creature’s love?” (The Catholic Doctrine of the Atonement, 85, 86).

(f) Although the high authority of St. Bernard was thus against them, the views of St. Anselm and Abelard, the two men who in different ways were the fathers of Scholasticism, shaped the course of later medieval theology. The strange notion of the rights of Satan, against which they had both protested, now disappears from the pages of our theologians. For the rest, the view which ultimately prevailed may be regarded as a combination of the opinions of Anselm and Abelard. In spite of the objections urged by the latter writer, Anselm’s doctrine of Satisfaction was adopted as the basis. But St. Thomas and the other medieval masters agree with Abelard in rejecting the notion that this full Satisfaction for sin was absolutely necessary. At the most, they are willing to admit a hypothetical or conditional necessity for the Redemption by the death of Christ. The restoration of fallen man was a work of God’s free mercy and benevolence. And, even on the hypothesis that the loss was to be repaired, this might have been brought about in many and various ways. The sin might have been remitted freely, without any satisfaction at all, or some lesser satisfaction, however imperfect in itself, might have been accepted as sufficient. But on the hypothesis that God as chosen to restore mankind, and at the same time, to require full satisfaction as a condition of pardon and deliverance, nothing less than the Atonement made by one who was God as well as man could suffice as satisfaction for the offense against the Divine Majesty. And in this case Anselm’s argument will hold good. Mankind cannot be restored unless God becomes man to save them.

In reference to many points of detail the Schoolmen, here as elsewhere, adopted divergent views. One of the chief questions at issue was the intrinsic adequacy of the satisfaction offered by Christ. On this point the majority, with St. Thomas at their head, maintained that, by reason of the infinite dignity of the Divine Person, the least action or suffering of Christ had an infinite value, so that in itself it would suffice as an adequate satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. Scotus and his school, on the other hand, disputed this intrinsic infinitude, and ascribed the all-sufficiency of the satisfaction to the Divine acceptation. As this acceptation was grounded on the infinite dignity of the Divine Person, the difference was not so great as might appear at first sight. But, on this point at any rate the simpler teaching of St. Thomas is more generally accepted by later theologians. Apart from this question, the divergent views of the two schools on the primary motive of the Incarnation naturally have some effect on the Thomist and Scotist theology of the Atonement. On looking back at the various theories noticed so far, it will be seen that they are not, for the most part, mutually exclusive, but may be combined and harmonized. It may be said, indeed, that they all help to bring out different aspects of that great doctrine which cannot find adequate expression in any human theory. And in point of fact it will generally be found that the chief Fathers and Schoolmen, though they may at times lay more stress on some favourite theory of their own, do not lose sight of the other explanations.

Thus the Greek Fathers, who delight in speculating on the Mystical Redemption by the Incarnation, do not omit to speak also of our salvation by the shedding of blood. Origen, who lays most stress on the deliverance by payment of a ransom, does not forget to dwell on the need of a sacrifice for sin. St. Anselm again, in his “Meditations”, supplements the teaching set forth in his “Cur Deus Homo?” Abelard, who might seem to make the Atonement consist in nothing more than the constraining example of Divine Love has spoken also of our salvation by the Sacrifice of the Cross, in passages to which his critics do not attach sufficient importance. And, as we have seen his great opponent, St. Bernard, teaches all that is really true and valuable in the theory which he condemned. Most, if not all, of these theories had perils of their own, if they were isolated and exaggerated. But in the Catholic Church there was ever a safeguard against these dangers of distortion. As Mr. Oxenham says very finely,

The perpetual priesthood of Christ in heaven, which occupies a prominent place in nearly all the writings we have examined, is even more emphatically insisted upon by Origen. And this deserves to be remembered, because it is a part of the doctrine which has been almost or altogether dropped out of many Protestant expositions of the Atonement, whereas those most inclining among Catholics to a merely juridical view of the subject have never been able to forget the present and living reality of a sacrifice constantly kept before their eyes, as it were, in the worship which reflects on earth the unfailing liturgy of heaven. (p. 38)

The reality of these dangers and the importance of this safeguard may be seen in the history of this doctrine since the age of Reformation. As we have seen, its earlier development owed comparatively little to the stress of controversy with the heretics. And the revolution of the sixteenth century was no exception to the rule. For the atonement was not one of the subjects directly disputed between the Reformers and their Catholic opponents. But from its close connection with the cardinal question of Justification, this doctrine assumed a very special prominence and importance in Protestant theology and practical preaching. Mark Pattison tells us in his “Memoirs” that he came to Oxford with his “home Puritan religion almost narrowed to two points, fear of God’s wrath and faith in the doctrine of the Atonement”. And his case was possibly no exception among Protestant religionists. In their general conception on the atonement the Reformers and their followers happily preserved the Catholic doctrine, at least in its main lines. And in their explanation of the merit of Christ’s sufferings and death we may see the influence of St. Thomas and the other great Schoolmen. But, as might be expected from the isolation of the doctrine and the loss of other portions of Catholic teaching, the truth thus preserved was sometimes insensibly obscured or distorted. It will be enough to note here the presence of two mistaken tendencies.

The first is indicated in the above words of Pattison in which the Atonement is specially connected with the thought of the wrath of God. It is true of course that sin incurs the anger of the Just Judge, and that this is averted when the debt due to Divine Justice is paid by satisfaction. But it must not be thought that God is only moved to mercy and reconciled to us as a result of this satisfaction. This false conception of the Reconciliation is expressly rejected by St. Augustine (In Joannem, Tract. cx, section 6). God’s merciful love is the cause, not the result of that satisfaction.

The second mistake is the tendency to treat the Passion of Christ as being literally a case of vicarious punishment. This is at best a distorted view of the truth that His Atoning Sacrifice took the place of our punishment, and that He took upon Himself the sufferings and death that were due to our sins.

This view of the Atonement naturally provoked a reaction. Thus the Socinians were led to reject the notion of vicarious suffering and satisfaction as inconsistent with God’s justice and mercy. And in their eyes the work of Christ consisted simply in His teaching by word and example. Similar objections to the juridical conception of the Atonement led to like results in the later system of Swedenborg. More recently Albrecht Ritschl, who has paid special attention to this subject, has formulated a new theory on somewhat similar lines. His conception of the Atonement is moral and spiritual, rather than juridical and his system is distinguished by the fact that he lays stress on the relation of Christ to the whole Christian community. We cannot stay to examine these new systems in detail. But it may be observed that the truth which they contain is already found in the Catholic theology of the Atonement. That great doctrine has been faintly set forth in figures taken from man’s laws and customs. It is represented as the payment of a price, or a ransom, or as the offering of satisfaction for a debt. But we can never rest in these material figures as though they were literal and adequate. As both Abelard and Bernard remind us, the Atonement is the work of love. It is essentially a sacrifice, the one supreme sacrifice of which the rest were but types and figures. And, as St. Augustine teaches us, the outward rite of Sacrifice is the sacrament, or sacred sign, of the invisible sacrifice of the heart. It was by this inward sacrifice of obedience unto death, by this perfect love with which He laid down his life for His friends, that Christ paid the debt to justice, and taught us by His example, and drew all things to Himself; it was by this that He wrought our Atonement and Reconciliation with God, “making peace through the blood of His Cross”.

Publication information Written by W.H. Kent. Transcribed by Joseph P. Thomas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York

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Four Views On The Tribulation and the Millennium

Posted by Job on May 25, 2009

Please click on link to access document.

The Tribulation and the Millennium: Four Views

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A Group With Some Issues With The Doctrines of John Wesley

Posted by Job on July 21, 2008

www.cprf.co.uk/articles/johnwesley.htm

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Roman Catholics In 1 Peter 2:4-9 The Apostle Peter Says That Jesus Christ Is The Rock That The Church Is Built Upon!

Posted by Job on June 18, 2008

From Apprising Ministries.

PETER SAYS CHRIST IS THE ROCK

This work is adapted from my more in depth look at the crumbling papacy called The Real Cornerstone. Here we once again look at this idea that allegedly the Apostle Peter is the “rock” spoken of in Matthew 16:18, and it is from this faulty reasoning that the Church of Rome has erected the office of their Pope. But we must ask ourselves a question: Who would be the person most able to tell us what Jesus meant in this verse of Scripture? That would, of course, be Peter himself. After all, the Master was talking to him. And before we’re through, I’m going to show you Peter himself refuting the dogma of the papacy of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Crumbling Papacy

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:15-18)

Let’s look at Matthew 16:18 once again, this time from the Roman Catholic translation called theNew American Bible for Catholics (NAS). And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church. What I am going to show you now from the Scriptures is that Peter himself understood Jesus to be saying to him – “You are but a stone, and upon this Rock of Truth that God the Father has just revealed to you I am going to build My Church.”

Now we turn our attention to the Book of 1 Peter. Here is 1 Peter 2:4-9 from the NAB. The Apostle Peter writes:

Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it says in scripture: “Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.”

Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall.” They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny. But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

You’ll notice in verse 4 – Come to him – [this would be the Lord–Christ Jesus]. Come to him, a living stone – [the Real Cornerstone–the primary Stone–from which all the other stones draw their life]. Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God. This can only be Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There isn’t a whole lot I agree with John Wesley on, but his comment on this verse is actually quite astute: “And St. Peter speaking of [Christ] thus, shows he did not judge himself, but Christ, to be the rock on which the church was built” (emphasis added).

Jesus Says He Is The Rock

If Wesley’s comment is not enough to convince you that this rejected Stone is in fact Christ, and not Peter, then how about the Lord Jesus Himself? Will He do? As the Master Himself taught thatHe was the Stone in question. And I’d say Jesus is a fairly reliable Source–destra? Matthew 21:42 – Jesus said to – [the Jewish leaders], “Have you never read in the Scriptures:“ ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

With Peter standing right there–along with His other disciples–Jesus is trying to tell these religious people that they must trust in Him to find God. The Roman Catholic would do well to listen to what the Master says next – “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”

With this in mind then, let‘s go back and read 1 Peter 2:4 once again–from the NAB – Come to him, [Christ] a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God.Do you see now what Peter is telling us? He’s teaching us that Jesus of Nazareth is that Stone Who was prophesied in Isaiah 28. And this information itself is actually based on what the Master hadPersonally taught Peter and the other disciples. 

Now we come to verse 5 – and, like living stones, let yourselves –[all of us that God called out of the world to assemble to worship Christ. Like] – living stones, as imitations of – as reproductionsof that Living Cornerstone mentioned in verse 4–the Lord Jesus. And, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house – which is that universal–katholikos Church–the Body of Christ.

God Builds Upon The Cornerstone

Bible teacher G.K. Polkinghorne’s comment is helpful here – “Christ [is] the basis and standardon which God erects His building, Christians as living stones made alive by Christ (I:3) are in the process of being incorporated… The [picture] is of God at work, erecting His building, stone by stone” (New International Bible Commentary, p.1555, emphasis added)–upon the solid Rock–Christ Jesus of Nazareth.

Back to 1 Peter 2 and verse 6 – For it says in scripture: “Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion, acornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.” Here Peter is appealing to Isaiah 28:16 to develop his teaching. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth – [in Jesus Christ of Nazareth] – shall not make haste. However, if you believe in a mere human “pope,” then you are going to blush for eternity.

Dr. Roger Raymer of Dallas Theological Seminary brings this out – “A cornerstone is the visiblesupport on which the building relies for strength and stability” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, p.845, emphasis added). So this couldn’t be Peter, as only the unchanging God of the Bible fits this description. Raymer then concludes – “Believers trust in Christ much as a building rests on its cornerstone” (ibid., emphasis added).

In verses 7 and 8 the Apostle Peter goes on to further emphasize the greatness of the building’s true foundation, the immoveable Cornerstone of Christ Jesus of Nazareth. Now see if all this sounds familiar to you. Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” (see Psalm 118:22) and “A stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall” (Isaiah 8:14). They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

Here Peter uses two Old Testament verses to bolster his teaching that Christ is this Stone in question, which is straight in line with the passage in Matthew 21 that we just read. And this is yet another reason why it is so important to read the Bible prayerfully–thoroughly–and in context.

This brings us to verse 9 – But you – [the ones called out–the universal Church.] But you– [this would be those of us who have given our lives completely to Jesus.] But you are “a chosen race, – [not one centralized organization like the Roman Catholic Church or the Mormon Church.] But you– [individually make up, and] – are “a chosen race, – [a chosen people] – a royal priesthood, – [all true Christians are priests of God] – a holy nation, a people of his [very] own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The Apostle Paul Says Christ Is The Cornerstone

Here is some absolute truth: If people would just read God’s Word for themselves – if people would just let the text of the Bible speak for itself, then we could very quickly clear up the vast majority of confusion in religious circles. In fact if we turn to Ephesians 2:19 we will find out something further regarding the true Identity of the Cornerstone. The Apostle Paul actually sheds some light on just Who this Rock is–this real Cornerstone–that Peter has informed us the universal Church itself rests upon.

From the NAB Roman Catholic translation once again – Ephesians 2:19 – So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.10 (emphasis added).

It is interesting to note that at the very bottom of the page in this Bible translation specifically designed for Roman Catholics we read this rather salient footnote – “10. [20] Capstone: the Greek can also mean cornerstone…” (emphasis added). Permit me to point out that in Ephesians 2:20 cited above the Greek word is akrogoniaios. And it means not only cornerstone–but the veryfoundation stone itself! So you can probably see why translators affiliated with the Church of Rome just might want to “soften” that verse–and soften it a whole lot!

However, there can be no doubt that both Paul and Peter are in agreement that Christ Jesus of Nazareth is the–singular–Chief Cornerstone. Now think back to that parable of “The Wise Builder.” Jesus says – Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock (Matthew 7:24). And this is no small matter as we attempt to look at the Roman Catholic Church from God’s perspective. Which, after all is said and done, is really the only perspective about that man-made organization that is going to matter!

Peter Confesses Christ Is The Rock

Let’s tie this back now to Peter’s confession in Matthew 16:18 where we began. Peter himself clearly shows us in Scripture from his own writings that it is Christ Jesus Who is the Rock–the Chief Cornerstone referred to in that verse. In fact later on in his first epistle, in the last chapter, the Apostle Peter writes – The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder (1 Peter 5:1). You’ll notice again–from the Bible itself–that he doesn’t claim any supremacy over these elders here as the so-called first Pope, but says instead that he is also an elder.

And that’s because Peter had already told these same men in chapter 2 that he is but a stone–just the same as they are–and that Christ is the Rock. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Real Cornerstone upon which His Church–His precious people–who are chosen and precious in the sight of God, is in fact built. So the entire foundation of the Roman Catholic Church erodes when examined by the precision laser light of God’s Holy Word–the Bible. When exposed to proper analysis by the Scriptures the faulty structure of the Church of Rome–their erroneous and pernicious doctrine of the Roman Pontiff–collapses in utter confusion and contradiction.

Let me begin to sum this up. The great Bible Commentator Dr. Adam Clarke is right when he explains what Jesus means when He says that He will build His Church upon the “rock.” Clarke shows that the Master is telling us that His Church will be built upon:

this true confession of [Peter] -that I am THE MESSIAH, that [I have] come to reveal and communicate THE LIVING GOD, that the dead, [and] lost world may be saved [through Me] – upon this very rock, myself, thus confessed…will I build my Church,…my assembly, or congregation, i.e. of persons who are made partakers of this precious faith. (http://www.godrules.net/library/clarke/clarke.htm&2,caps in original)

Dr. Clarke further points out – “That Petra is not designed in our Lord’s words must be evident to all who are not blinded by prejudice. Peter was only one of the builders in this sacred [structure],…[and Peter] himself tells us,…[the Church] was built on this living foundation stone” – [Christ Jesus-the Lord] (ibid.).

As a matter of fact Dr. Clarke then goes on to quote the very passage of Holy Scripture in 1 Peter 2 that we just looked at. Finally, the great Methodist preacher who labored during the days of John Wesley concludes:

So, the supremacy of Peter, and the infallibility of the Church of Rome, must be soughtin some other scripture, for they certainly are not to be found in this (ibid., emphasis added).

The Critical Importance Of Understanding The Dogma Of The Papacy

Although to some this mistaken idea that Peter was the Pope may not be of much interest, nevertheless it remains an issue of critical importance to the advancement of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ upon His earth. The Gospel of our Lord–I might add–which is the only means that this lost world has to escape the inevitable coming wrath of God. And if you truly are a Christian, that bit of truth should be of great interest to you. As Dr. Martin used to say: “If you don’t believe that the world is lost, why on earth are you even bothering to call yourself a Christian?”

This confused and contradictory man-made dogma of the papacy is the very beating heart of the apostate Roman Catholic Church, and all of its lifeblood flows through the fictitious office of their Pope. And to show you how deep all of this runs, let me share something from “Saint” Ignatius of Loyola, the man who founded the Jesuit sect of The Church of Rome. Here’s a little something from“The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius Of Loyola.” What follows is the –

Thirteenth Rule. To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I seeis blackif the [Pope and theHierarchical Church so decide it,… (exercises/exercises.html&from=RTFToC159, emphasis added)

This is as blind an allegiance as has ever been expressed. And lest you think this is just a thing of the past, then listen to this from the current website of an organization called the Catholic Society of Evangelists. In order to become involved with them, among the things one must pledge on their membership form, we read:

I accept that the Bishop of Rome, is the sole Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, that he is the supreme visible head of the whole Church, and that he can teach infalliblywhat we must believe and do to be saved. (http://www.saint-mike.org/cse/Oath.html)

We must face the fact that this is absolutely no different than the kind of blind allegiance paid to the leaders of any other cult-like system. Does anyone still remember Jim Jones and Jonestown? Or how about David Koresh and Waco, Texas? Yes, it’s true that the individual Roman Catholic may tell you that these are but words they say. Regardless, we must remind those who are pledging allegiance to the Pope and his Church of Rome of what the Lord says about anti-biblical traditions in Mark 7:6-9.

And here it is from their own New American Bible translation. Jesus says to the Jewish religious leaders–the Roman Catholic Church of His day:

“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’ You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!”

 

And as if that isn’t enough, here is a warning which came through the Apostle Paul that should send shivers up our spines. God the Holy Spirit says:

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 (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).

 

The Lord would have you know that this generation we are now living in is no time to be “playing” at Christianity. The spirit of this age is one that is quite aggressively hostile to the historic orthodox Christian faith. To the discerning among us it would appear that Christ is beginning to call His remnant to Himself. And…if you are in tune with the Spirit, somehow you will just know this truth.

Foolish Builders And Their House Of Sand

The issue we are left with now is this: If Peter is not the “rock” in Matthew 16:18 – then there canbe no so-called “successors” to his non-existent office as the so-called supreme shepherd, head of the universal Church. If the Bible proves that Peter is not the first pope–and I have conclusively demonstrated that it does–then the Church of Rome has been exposed as nothing more than a house erected on sand by foolish builders.

And sadly, for those who have been deceived by all of its pious pomp, the apostate Roman Catholic Church has instead been shown to be the best counterfeit of true historic orthodox Christianity–the faith derived from the apostolic preaching and to be kept by the Christian community–that Satan has yet to conceive. By the way, this is Jude 3 in their own NAB translation.

In the immaculate radiance of Holy Scripture the Church of Rome is seen to simply rest upon the “traditions” of men and their self-proclaimed dogma of the papacy. For in the end, it is just as Dr. John MacArthur courageously told a national audience on The John Ankerberg Show. The religious faith as taught by the Roman Catholic Church clearly shows that this “is not a group of wayward brothers–but is an apostate form of Christianity. It is a false religion–it is anotherreligion.” (MacArthur on The John Ankerberg ShowIrreconcilable Differences, Cassette Tape, Parts 1-3).

For once the precision laser beam of the Bible burns away the dogma of the Roman Pontiff–which is the very pillar the entire Church of Rome is built upon–then the whole substructure of this false religious system that the enemy of men’s souls has erected–with its cult-like dogmas of works-righteousness–collapses and lies in dilapidated ruin at his feet. As this whitewashed tomb full of dead men’s bones falls, the way is then cleared for us to reach those who were trapped inside; tofree all those precious souls for whom the authentic Rock–the real Chief Cornerstone–Jesus Christ of Nazareth died, and who have been pressed down by the grisly rubble of twisted doctrine, such is the labyrinth of Roman Catholicism.

The true Body of Christ, that assembly of the ones the Lord has called out of this vapid world system to worship Him, must finally arise! The time has come for the authentic Holy Katholikos and Apostolic Church to liberate those who are right now caught in the crumbling wreckage of the no longer Christian Church of Rome. We need to release these survivors from its debris with the glorious Gospel of The RealCornerstone, our secure Foundation–the Rock–Christ Jesus.

The Roman Catholic Church Has Not Changed

However, because the Christian Church in America has become so terribly timid we’ve allowed the counterfeit Church of Rome to give the impression that she has changed the heretical doctrines that she originally left the Faith to teach in the first place. But by now you should clearly be able to see that she has not changed.

In an article entitled Vatican II—The Myths from EWTN we read:

All that the Church taught when Vatican II began is still [Roman] Catholic teaching. The changes whether made by the Council or decided upon since, are [only] in practical matters such as the liturgy or discipline, but always leaving doctrine unchanged(emphasis added).

Now listen to this by Rino Fisichella, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, in L’Osservatore Romano – which just happens to be the newspaper of the Holy See. On page 10 of an article called Vatican I’s Teaching As Timely As Ever that ran September 13, 2000 we find:

on 8 December 1869 Plus IX brought the Council back to the centre of the Church. Holding it at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was equivalent to recovering the great tradition of the medieval Councils,… The First Vatican Council, from this symbolic standpoint, initiated an event that would remain in the Church’s history as a point of no return for the growth of faith. (emphasis added)

As you can clearly see from their own sources Roman Catholicism remains the same. Fisichella continues:

The Church presented the divine nature of her institution… Christ established in Peter the visible and lasting principle of his Church’s unity. The discussions aboutthe approval of infallibility are well known…a decision of historical import was reached. The proclamation of infallibility embraced and expressed that sense of faith of all the baptized, which sees in Peter the rock on which Christ has indefectibly and infallibly established his Church (ibid., emphasis added).

Infallible Apostates?

As I have stated previously, what we need to do here is to stop playing all the word games. The truth is the Church of Rome is entangled by her own misapplied logic. Here is the issue succinctly:If the Pope cannot err when he pronounces a doctrine of faith and morals ex cathedra, then Roman Catholicism is trapped in an unbreakable vice. You see, if she were ever to change a dogma concerning theology–which in no uncertain terms does cover faith and morals–then the Church of Rome would have to admit that a Pope was in fact wrong.

To borrow a phrase–the Roman Catholic Church is damned if they do, and they are damned if they don’t. For once we have an infallible Pope, along with his so-called infallible teaching Magisterium, we will be forever locked within a maze of logical contradiction and confusion. And you will remember that For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints(1 Corinthians 14:33).

Let me close with this. As ambassadors of our glorious Lord, (see-2 Corinthians 5:20) it is our job to help people to see that it was not the Reformers who split the Body of Christ. Rather, it was the Church of Rome herself that was the one who left us so many hundreds of years ago, wishing to follow her own pride. For the Scripture unmistakably tells us about people like this:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John 2:19).

The following comment on this verse from Zane Hodges will prove edifying. He writes:

They did not really belong to us [NIV] paraphrases an expression more literally rendered, “they were not of us.” The writer’s point was that these men did not really share the spirit and perspective of the apostolic circle, for if they had their secession would not have taken place. Heresy in the Christian church, whether on the part of its saved members or unsaved people within it, always unmasks a fundamental disharmony with the spirit and doctrine of the apostles. A man in touch with Godwill submit to apostolic instruction (cf. 1 John 4:6). (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT, pp.891,892, emphasis added).

For this is what the Lord says; despite all of her blustering and pontificating as to being the one true Church upon the face of the earth, with the “fullness” of the Gospel, and with her so-called “Vicar” of Christ, the verdict is crystal clear: The Church of Rome stands condemned already for she follows not the apostolic doctrine that she so brazenly claims succession from.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear…

 

Copyright © 2008 by Ken Silva. All rights reserved.

 

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John Wesley: The Original Billy Graham In Uniting Evangelicals And Roman Catholics

Posted by Job on May 28, 2008

www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/meth-council-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20030622_methodist-church_en.html

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The Cause And Cure Of Earthquakes 1730 Sermon By John Wesley

Posted by Job on December 29, 2007

Original link.

“O come hither, and behold the works of the Lord; what destruction He hath brought upon the earth!” Psalm 46:8
Of all the judgments which the righteous God inflicts on sinners here, the most dreadful and destructive is an earthquake. This he has lately brought on our part of the earth, and thereby alarmed our fears, and bid us “prepare to meet our God!” The shocks which have been felt in divers places, since that which made this city tremble, may convince us that the danger is not over, and ought to keep us still in awe; seeing “his anger is not turned away, but his band is stretched out still.” (Isa. 10:4.)

That I may fall in with the design of Providence at this awful crisis, I shall take occasion from the words of my text,

I. To show that earthquakes are the works of the Lord, and He only bringeth this destruction upon the earth:

II. Call you to behold the works of the Lord, in two or three terrible instances: And,

III. Give you some directions suitable to the occasion.
I. I am to show you that earthquakes are the works of the Lord, and He only bringeth this destruction upon the earth.
Now, that God is himself the Author, and sin the moral cause, of earthquakes, (whatever the natural cause may be,) cannot be denied by any who believe the Scriptures; for these are they which testify of Him, that it is God” which removeth the mountains, and overturneth them in his anger; which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.” (Job 9:5, 6.) “He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.” (Ps. 104:32.) “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.” (Ps. 97:5.) “The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt. Who can stand before his indignation, and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.” (Nahum 1:5, 6.)

IN 1692 JAMAICA earthquake dogs ate the heads of some people buried in the ground up to their necksIN 1692 JAMAICA earthquake dogs ate the heads of some people buried in the ground up to their necks
Earthquakes are set forth by the inspired writers as God’s proper judicial act, or the punishment of sin: Sin is the cause, earthquakes the effect, of his anger. So the Psalmist: “The earth trembled and quaked; the very foundations also of the hills shook, and were removed, because he was wroth” (Ps. 18:7.) So the Prophet Isaiah: “I will punish the world for their evil, — and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible: — Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shalt remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of host, and in the day of his fierce anger.” (Isa. 13:11, 13.) And again. “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty; and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down,” (in the original, perverteth the face thereof,) “and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. For the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again.” (Isa. 24:1, 18-20.) “Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the God of Jacob.” (Ps. 114:7.) “thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise.” (Isa. 29:6.)

Nothing can be more express than these scripture testimonies, which determine both the cause and author of this terrible calamity. But reason, as well as faith, doth sufficiently assure us it must be the punishment of sin, and the effect of that curse which was brought upon the earth by the original transgression. Steadfastness must be no longer looked for in the world, since innocency is banished thence: But we cannot conceive that the universe would have been disturbed by these furious accidents during the state of original righteousness. Wherefore should God’s anger have armed the elements against his faithful subjects? Wherefore should he have overthrown all his works to destroy innocent men? or why overwhelmed the inhabitants of the earth with the ruins thereof, if they had not been sinful? why buried those in the bowels of the earth who were not to die? Let us then conclude, both from Scripture and reason, that earthquakes are God’s strange works of judgment — the proper effect and punishment of sin. I proceed,
II. To set before you these works of the Lord in two or three terrible instances.
In the year 1692 there happened in Sicily one of the most dreadful earthquakes in all history. It shook the whole island and not only that, but Naples and Malta shared in the shock. It was impossible for any one to keep on their legs on the dancing earth: Nay, those who lay on the ground were tossed from side to side, as on a rolling billow. High walls leaped from their foundations several paces.

The mischief it did is amazing: Fifty-four cities and towns, besides an incredible number of villages, were almost entirely destroyed. Catania, one of the most famous, ancient, and flourishing cities in the kingdom, the residence of several monarchs, and an university, had the greatest share in the judgment. Father Anth. Serrvoita, being on his way thither, a few miles from the city observed a black cloud like night hovering over it; and there arose from the mouth of Etna great spires of flame, which spread all around. The sea, all on a sudden, began to roar, and rise in billows; the birds flew about astonished; the cattle ran crying in the fields; and there was a blow as if all the artillery in the world had been discharged at once!

His and his companions’ horses stopped short, trembling; so that they were forced to alight. They were no sooner off; but they were lifted from the ground above two palms; when, casting his eyes towards Catania, he was astonished to see nothing but a thick cloud of dust in the air. This was the scene of their calamity; for of the magnificent Catania there is not the least footstep to be seen. Of eighteen thousand nine hundred and fourteen inhabitants, eighteen thousand perished therein: In the several cities and towns sixty thousand were destroyed out of two hundred and fifty-four thousand nine hundred!

In the same year, 1692, on June 7, was the earthquake in Jamaica. It threw down most of the houses, churches, sugar-works, mills, and bridges throughout the island; tore the rocks and mountains, reducing some of them to plains ; destroyed whole plantations, and threw them into the sea; and, in two minutes time, shook down and destroyed nine-tenths of the town of Port Royal; the houses sunk outright thirty or forty fathom deep!

The earth, opening, swallowed up people; and they rose in other streets; some in the midst of the harbour, (being driven up again by the sea which rose in those breaches,) and so wonderfully escaped.

Of all wells, from one fathom to six or seven, the water flew out of the top with a vehement motion. While the houses on one side of the street were swallowed up, on the other they were thrown into heaps. The sand in the street rose like waves of the sea, lifting up every body that stood on it, and immediately dropping down into pits; and at the same instant, a flood of water, breaking in, rolled them over and over, while catching hold of beams and rafters to save themselves.

Ships and sloops in the harbour were overset and lost. A vessel, by the motion if the sea and sinking of the wharf, was driven over the tops of many houses, and sunk there.

The earthquake was attended with a hollow rumbling sound, like that of thunder. In less than a minute, three quarters of the houses, and the ground they stood on, with the inhabitants, were quite sunk under water, and the little part left behind was no better than a heap of rubbish!

The shock was so violent that it threw people down on their knees or their faces, as they were running about for shelter; the ground heaved and swelled like a rolling sea; and several houses, still standing were shuffled and moved some yards out of their places; a whole street is said to be twice as broad now as before.

In many places the earth would crack, and open and shut quick and fast, of which openings, two or three hundred might be seen at a time; in some whereof the people were swallowed up; others the closing earth caught by the middle, and squeezed to death; and in that manner they were left buried with only their heads above ground; some heads the dogs ate!

The Minister of the place, in his account, saith, that such was the desperate wickedness of the people, that he was afraid to continue among them; that on the day of the earthquake some sailors and others fell to breaking open and rifling warehouses, and houses deserted, while the earth trembled under them, and the houses fell upon them in the act; that he met many swearing and blaspheming; and that the common harlots, who remained still upon the place, were as drunken and impudent as ever.

While he was running towards the Fort, a wide open place, to save himself, he saw the earth open and swallow up a multitude of people; and the sea mounting in upon them over the fortifications, it likewise destroyed their large burying-place, and washed away the carcases out of their graves, dashing their tombs to pieces. The whole harbour was covered with dead bodies, floating up and down without burial!

As soon as the violent shock was over, he desired all people to join with him in prayer. Among them were several Jews, who kneeled and answered as they did, and were heard even to call upon Jesus Christ. After he had spent an hour and an half with them in prayer, and exhortations to repentance, he was desired to retire to some ship in the harbour, and, passing over the tops of some houses which lay level with) the water, got first into a canoe, and then into a long-boat, which put him on board a ship.

The larger openings swallowed up houses; and out of some would issue whole rivers of water, spouted up a great height into the air, and threatening a deluge to that part which the earthquake spared. The whole was attended with offensive smells, and the noise of falling mountains. The sky in a minutes time was turned dull and red, like a glowing oven. Scarce a planting-house or sugar-work was left standing in all Jamaica. A great part of them was swallowed up, houses, trees, people, and all at one gape; in the place of which afterwards appeared great pools of water, which, when dried up, left nothing but sand, without any mark that ever tree or plant had been thereon.

About twelve miles from the sea, the earth gaped, and spouted out, with a prodigious force, vast quantities of water into the air. But the greatest violence was among the mountains and rocks. Most of the rivers were stopped for twenty-four hours, by the falling of the mountains; till, swelling up, they made themselves new channels, tearing up trees, and all they met with, in their passage.

A great mountain split, and fell into the level ground, and covered several settlements, and destroyed the people there. Another mountain, having made several leaps or moves, overwhelmed [a] great part of a plantation lying a mile off. Another large high mountain, near a day’s journey over, was quite swallowed up, and where it stood is now a great lake some leagues over.

After the great shake, those who escaped got on board ships in the harbour, where many continued above two months; the shakes all that time being so violent, and coming so thick, sometimes two or three in an hour, accompanied with frightful noises, like a ruffling wind, or a hollow rumbling thunder, with brimstone blasts, that they durst not come ashore. The consequence of the earthquake was, a general sickness from the noisome vapours, which swept away above three thousand persons.

On the 28th of October, 1746, half an hour past ten at night, Lima, the capital city of Peru, was destroyed by an earthquake, which extended an hundred leagues northward and as many more to the south, all along the sea-coast. The destruction did not so much as give time for fright; for, at one and the same instant, the noise, the shock, and the ruin were perceived. In the space of four minutes, during which the greatest force of the earthquake lasted, some found themselves buried under the ruins of the falling houses; and others crushed to death in the streets by the tumbling of the walls, which fell upon them as they ran here and there.

Nevertheless, the greater part of the inhabitants (who were computed near sixty thousand) were providentially preserved, either in the hollow places which the ruins left, or on the top of the very ruins themselves, without knowing how they got up thither. For no person, at such a season, had time for deliberation; and supposing he had, there was no place of retreat: For the parts which seemed most firm sometimes proved the weakest; on the contrary the weakest, at intervals, made the greatest resistance; and the consternation was such, that no one thought himself secure, till he had made his escape out of the city.

The earth struck against the buildings with such violence, that every shock beat down the greatest part of them; and these, tearing along with them vast weights in their fall, (especially the churches and high houses,) completed the destruction of everything they encountered with, even of what the earth-quake had spared. The shocks, although instantaneous, were yet successive; and at intervals men were transported from one place to another, which was the means of safety to some, while the utter impossibility of moving preserved others.

There were seventy-four churches, besides chapels, and fourteen monasteries, with as many more hospitals and infirmaries, which were in all instant reduced to a ruinous heap, and their immense riches buried in the earth! But though scarce twenty houses were left standing, yet it does not appear that the number of the dead amounted to much more than one thousand one hundred and forty-one persons; seventy of whom were patients in an hospital, who were buried by the roof falling upon them as they lay in their beds, no person being able to give them any assistance.

Callao, a sea-port town, two leagues distant from Lima, was swallowed up by, the sea in the same earthquake. It vanished out of sight in a moment; so that not the least sight of it now appears.

Some few towers, indeed, and the strength of its walls, for a time, endured the whole force of the earthquake: But scarcely had its poor inhabitants begun to recover their first fright which the dreadful ruin had occasioned, when, suddenly, the sea began to swell, and, rising to a prodigious height, rushed furiously forward, and overflowed, with so vast a deluge of water, its ancient bounds, that, foundering most of the ships which were at anchor in the port, and lifting the rest above the height of the walls and towers, it drove them on and left them on dry ground far beyond the town. At the same time, it tore up from the foundations everything therein of houses and buildings, excepting the two gates, and here and there some small fragments of the walls themselves, which, as registers of the calamity, are still to be seen among the ruins and the waters, — a dreadful monument of what they were!

In this raging flood were drowned all the inhabitants of the place, about five thousand persons. Such as could lay hold on any pieces of timber, floated about for a considerable time; but those fragments, for want of room, were continually striking against each other, and so beat off those who had clung to them.

About two hundred, mostly fishermen and sailors, saved themselves. They declared that the waves in their retreat surrounded the whole town, without leaving any means for preservation; ad that, in the intervals, when the violence of the inundation was a little abated, they heard the most mournful cries and shrieks of those who perished. Those, likewise, who were on board the ships, which, by the elevation of the sea, were carried quite over the town, had the opportunity of escaping. Of twenty-three ships in the port at the time of the earthquake, four were stranded, and all the rest foundered. The few persons who saved themselves upon planks were several times driven about as far as the island of St. Lawrence, more than two leagues from the fort. At last some of them were cast upon the sea-shore, others upon the island, and so were preserved.

In these instances we may behold and see the works of the Lord, and how “terrible he is in his doings toward the children of me.” (Ps. 66:5.) Indeed, nothing can be so affecting as this judgment of earthquakes when it comes unexpectedly as a thief in the night; — “when hell enlarges herself, and open her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, descent into it;” (Isa. 5:14;) — when there is no time to flee, or method to escape, or possibility to resist; — when no sanctuary or refuge remains; no shelter is to be found in the highest towers or lowest caverns; — when the earth opens on a sudden, and becomes the grave of whole families, streets, and cities; and effects this in less time than you are able to tell the story of it; either sending out a flood of waters to drown, or vomiting out flames of fire to consume them, or closing again upon them, that they die by suffocation or famine, if not by the ruins of their own dwelling; — when parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and servants, magistrates, Ministers, and people, without distinction, in the midst of health, and peace, and business, are buried in a common ruin, and pass all together into the eternal world: and there is only the difference of a few hours or minutes between a famous city and none at all!

Now, if war be a terrible evil, how much more an earthquake, which, in the midst of peace, brings a worse evil than the extremity of war! If a raging pestilence be dreadful, which sweeps away thousands in a day, and ten thousands in a night; if a consuming fire be an amazing judgment; how much more astonishing is this, whereby houses, and inhabitants, towns, and cities, and countries, are all destroyed at one stroke in a few minutes! Death is the only presage of such a judgment, without giving leisure to prepare for another world, or opportunity to look for any shelter in this.

For a man to feel the earth, which hangeth upon nothing, (but as some vast ball in the midst of a thin yielding air,) totter under him, must fill him with secret fright and confusion. History informs us of the fearful effects of earthquakes in all ages; where you may see rocks torn in pieces; mountains not cast down only, but removed; hills raised, not out of valleys only, but out of seas; fires breaking out of waters; stones and cinders belched up; rivers changed; seas dislodged; earth opening; towns swallowed up; and many such-like hideous events!

Of all divine animadversions, there is none more horrid, more inevitable, than this. For where can we think to escape danger, if the most solid thing in all the world shakes? If that which sustains all other things threaten us with sinking under our feet, what sanctuary shall we find from an evil that encompasses us about? And whither can we withdraw, if the gulfs which open themselves shut up our passages on every side?

With what horror are men struck when they hear the earth groan; when her trembling succeeds her complaints; when houses are loosened from their foundations; when the roofs fall upon their heads, and the pavement sinks under their feet! What hope, when fear cannot he fenced by flight! In other evils there is some way to escape; but an earthquake incloses what it overthrows, and wages war with whole provinces; and sometimes leaves nothing behind it to inform posterity of its outrages. More insolent than fire, which spares rocks; more cruel than the conqueror, who leaves walls; more greedy than the sea, which vomits up shipwrecks; it swallows and devours whatsoever it overturns. The sea itself is subject to its empire, and the most dangerous storms are those occasioned by earthquakes.
I come, in the Third and last place, to give you some directions suitable to the occasion.
And this is the more needful, because ye know not how soon the late earthquake, wherewith God hath visited us, may return, or whether He may not enlarge as well as repeat its commission. Once, yea, twice, hath the Lord warned us, that he is arisen to shake terribly the earth. Wherefore, 1. Fear God, even that God can in a moment cast both body and soul into hell! “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty.” (Isa. 1:10.) Ought we not all to cry out, “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty! Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thy judgments are made manifest!” (Rev. 15:3, 4.)

God speaks to your hearts, as in subterranean thunder, “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, — Hear the rod, and who hath appointed it.” (Mic. 6:9.) He commands you to take notice of his power and justice. “Come and see!” (Rev. 6:5,) while a fresh seal is opening; yea, “come and see the works of God; his is terrible in his doings towards the children of men.” (Ps. 66:5.)

When he makes the mountains tremble, and the earth shake, shall not our hearts be moved? “Fear ye not me? saith the Lord; and will ye not tremble at my presence?” (Jer. 5:22.) Will ye not fear me, who can open the windows of heaven above, or break up the fountains of the deep below, and pour forth whole floods of vengeance when I please? — who can “rain upon the wicked snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest;” (Ps. 11:6;) or kindle those streams and exhalations in the bowels and caverns of the earth, and make them force their way to the destruction of towns, cities, and countries? who can thus suddenly turn a fruitful land into a barren wilderness; an amazing spectacle of desolation and ruin?

“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it.” “The lion hath roared; who will not fear? With God is terrible majesty; men do therefore fear him.” Some do; and all ought. O that his fear might this moment fall upon all you who hear these words; constraining every one of you to cry out, “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments!” (Ps. 109:10.) O that all might see, now His hand is lifted up, as in act to strike; is stretched out still; and shakes his rod over a guilty land, a people fitted for destruction! For is not this the nation to be visited? And “shall not I wait for these things? saith the Lord; and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” (Jer. 5:9.) What but national repentance can prevent national destruction?

“O consider this, ye that forget God, lest he pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you!” (Ps. 50:22.) That iniquity may not be your ruin, repent! This is the Second advice I would offer you; or, rather, the First enforced upon you farther, and explained. Fear God, and depart from evil; repent, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance; break off our sins this moment. ” Wash ye, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well,” saith the Lord. (Isa. :16, 17.)

“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3.) “Therefore now, saith the Lord,” who is not willing any should perish, “turn ye unto me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him?” (Joel 2:12-14.)

“Who knoweth?” A question which should make you tremble. God is weighing you in the balance, and, as it were, considering whether to save or to destroy! “Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee; therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.” (Exod. 33:5.)

LISBON, PORTUGAL earthquake in 1755LISBON, PORTUGAL earthquake in 1755
God waits to see what effect his warnings will have upon you. He pauses on the point of executing judgment, and cries, “How shall I give thee up?” (Hos. 11:8) Or, “Why should ye be stricken any more?” (Isa. 1:5.) He hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth. He would not bring to pass his strange act, unless your obstinate impenitence compel him.

“Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezek. 18:31.) God warns you of the approaching judgment, that ye may take warning, and escape it by timely repentance. He lifts up his hand, and shakes it over you, that ye may see it, and prevent the stroke. He tells you, “Now is the axe laid unto the root of the trees:” (Matt. 3:10:) Therefore repent; bring forth good fruit; and ye shall not be hewn down, and cast into the fire. O do not despise the riches of his mercy, but let it lead you to repentance! “Account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation.” (2 Pet. 3:15.) Harden not your hearts, but turn to Him that smites you; or, rather, threatens to smite, that ye may turn and be spared!

How slow is the Lord to anger! how unwilling to punish! By what leisurely steps does he come to take vengeance! How many lighter afflictions before the final blow!

Should he beckon the man on the red horse to return, and say, “Sword, go through this land;” can we complain he gave us no warning? Did not the sword first bereave abroad; and did we not then see it within our borders? Yet the merciful God said, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;” he stopped the invaders in the midst of our land, and turned them back again, and destroyed them.

Should he send the man on the pale horse, whose name is Death, and the pestilence destroy thousands and ten thousands of us; can we deny that first he warned us by the raging mortality among our cattle?

So, if we provoke him to lay waste our earth, and turn it upside down, and overthrow us, as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah; shall we not have procured this unto ourselves? Had we no reason to expect any such calamity; no previous notice; no trembling of the earth before it clave; no shock before it opened its mouth? Did he set no examples of so terrible a judgment before our eyes? Had we never heard of the destruction of Jamaica, or Catania, or that of Lima, which happened but yesterday? If we perish at last, we perish without excuse; for what could have been done more to save us?

Yes; thou hast now another call to repentance, another offer of mercy, whosoever thou art that hearest these words. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I warn thee once more, as a watchman over the house of Israel, to flee from the wrath to come! I put thee in remembrance (if thou hast so soon forgotten it) of the late awful judgment, whereby God shook thee over the mouth of hell! Thy body he probably awoke by it; but did he awake thy soul? The Lord was in the earthquake, and put a solemn question to thy conscience: “Art thou ready to die?” “Is thy peace made with God?” Was the earth just now to open its mouth, and swallow thee up, what would become of thee? Where wouldest thou be? in Abraham’s bosom, or lifting up thine eyes in torment? Hadst thou perished by the late earthquake, wouldest thou not have died in thy sins, or rather gone down quick into hell? Who prevented thy damnation? it was the Son of God! O fall down, and worship him! Give Him the glory of thy deliverance; and devote the residue of thy days to his service!

This is the Third advice I would give you: Repent and believe the gospel. Believe on the Lord Jesus, and ye shall yet be saved. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish. Repentance alone will profit you nothing; neither do ye repent, unless ye confess with broken hearts the most damnable of all your sins, your unbelief; your having rejected, or not accepted, Jesus Christ as your only Saviour. Neither can ye repent unless he himself gives the power; unless his Spirit convince you of sin, because ye believe not in Him.

Till ye repent of your unbelief, all your good desires and promises are vain, and will pass away as a morning cloud. The vows which ye make in a time of trouble, ye will forget and break as soon as the trouble is over and the danger past.

SAN FRANCISCO 1906 earthquake- City Hall before and afterSAN FRANCISCO 1906 earthquake- City Hall before and after
But shall ye escape for your wickedness, suppose the earthquake should not return? God will never want ways and means to punish impenitent sinners. He hath a thousand other judgments in reserve; and if the earth should not open its mouth, yet ye shall surely at last be swallowed up in the bottomless pit of hell!

Wouldest thou yet escape that eternal death? Then receive the sentence of death in thyself, thou miserable self-destroyed sinner! Know thy want of living, saving, divine faith! Groan under thy burden of unbelief, and refuse to be comforted till thou hear Him of his own mouth say, “Be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

I cannot take it for granted, that all men have faith; or speak to the sinners of this land as to believers in Jesus Christ. For where are the fruits of faith? Faith worketh by love; faith overcometh the world; faith purifieth the heart; faith, in the smallest measure, removeth mountains. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to thee. If thou art justified by faith, thou hast peace with God, and rejoicest in hope of his glorious appearing.

He that believeth hath the witness in himself; hath the earnest of heaven in his heart; hath love stronger than death. Death to a believer has lost its sting; “therefore will he not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” (Ps. 46:2.) For he knows in whom he has believed; and that “neither life nor death shall be able to separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus his Lord.”

Dost thou so believe? Prove thy own self by the infallible word of God. If thou hast not the fruits, effects, or inseparable properties of faith, thou hast not faith. Come, then, to the Author and Finisher of faith, confessing thy sins, and the root of all — thy unbelief, till he forgive thee thy sins, and cleanse thee from all unrighteousness. Come to the Friend of sinners, weary and heavy laden, and he will give thee pardon! Cast thy poor desperate soul on his dying love! Enter into the rock, the ark, the city of refuge! Ask, and thou shalt receive faith and forgiveness together. He waited to be gracious. He hath spared thee for this very thing; that thine eyes might see his salvation. Whatever judgments come in these latter days, yet whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord Jesus hall be delivered.

Call upon Him now, O sinner! and continue instant in prayer, till he answer thee in peace and power! Wrestle for the blessing! Thy life, thy soul, is at stake! Cry mightily unto Him, — “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me “God he merciful unto me a sinner!” Lord, help me! Help my unbelief! Save, or I perish! Sprinkle my troubled heart! Wash me throughly in the fountain of thy blood; guide me by thy Spirit; sanctify me throughout, and receive me up into glory!

“Now to God the Father,” c.

Edited by George Lyons with corrections by Ryan Danker for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology of Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, ID).

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I Have No Choice Left But To Join The Predestination Camp

Posted by Job on November 22, 2007

Update: though I am now TULIP, I will not take the chauvinistic attitudes against LILAC Christians as exhibited by things like this link: The “god” Of Arminianism and this: Free-Willism Preaches Another Jesus. Claiming that free will Christians aren’t going to heaven cannot be supported by honest interpretation of scripture. Thank you. 

I was raised in free will Christianity and had an entire worldview shaped around it that seemed quite logical to me. However, it is now based on that same logic that I must reject the doctrine of Jacobus Arminius with regards to the salvation of man. The tipping point for me was reading an excerpt of a letter from Pelagius, opponent of Augustine and Jerome, to Demetrias. In it, Pelagius, who espoused free will and denied the existence of original sin, asserted that God had given all men the strength to choose good or evil, and that it was our responsibility to use it. He did allow that said strength was somewhat limited, but that God knew that limitation for He knew how much strength He gave us. Still, God gave us sufficient strength to continuously exercise good over evil.

Keep in mind that this is a holy God who hates sin and loves His creation. So then, why then would this God not give us enough strength never to sin at all, knowing that the result would not only be the corruption that He hates but the damnation of His creation to eternal wrath? It it has to be because either He would not or that He could not. Go one way and God is not a God of love. Go another way and God is not all powerful. The result of either is having no God at all.

Also, consider that man does have the ability to choose salvation, even if this ability is not inherent in man but rather a gift of the same common grace that is available to all men. That, then place the responsibility on God to get men to accept salvation. To use a business analogy, God would then be the salesman, humanity would be the consumer, and Jesus Christ would be the product. If this is so, then that makes God the worst salesman in the history of the universe! Consider that fast food restaurants have no problem selling expensive unhealthy low quality food that any benefits derived from eating will disappear like chaff in a furnace (the negative health effects will last somewhat longer especially if you consume such “food” with any regularity) but God’s Son is available for free with immeasurable benefits that accrue over time and last an eternity.

And what are the consequences of passing up McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the Chinese food buffet? Missing a meal or having to “settle” for a sandwich made from whatever you can find in your refrigerator. (I suggest living with those consequences whenever possible.) But the consequences of passing up Jesus Christ is eternal wrath. So is our God so incompetent a salesman that He is unable to convince even an utter fool of the merits of His FREE merchandise? Considering not so much that the sovereign holy righteous God would never immolate and humiliate Himself before man in order to beg His acceptance in the first place, but this scenario requires believing that He would do such a thing only to be grotesquely incompetent at it.

Make no mistake, the existence of free will makes every the failure of each and every man that rejects God a failure of God … a failure due to some flaw, unrighteousness, or lack of knowledge in God that cannot be blamed on man. And this is very important in questions regarding the goodness or fairness of God. You may with your human judgment condemn God for being partial, arbitrary, and even cruel for refusing to save everyone. That is fine with me. The reason is that for me the existence of God is made self evident by virtue of creation. I find the existence of a God that may appear less than fair according to limited human understanding by refusing to save everyone preferable to that of a God that is clearly incompetent by any understanding that wants to save everyone but is not only incapable of accomplishing it, but moreover only succeeds in saving a small number! It appears that we are so often needful to believe in a God that is “fair” to suit our own purposes that that even a reasonably competent God – let alone the God of the Bible that is sovereign, holy, high and lifted up, righteous, loving, gracious, and powerful – gets rejected in the process.

So I am now forced to cease resisting the meaning of John 10:25-28Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

Are you willing to accept the free gift of salvation? If so, please follow the Three Step Salvation Plan.

Posted in Calvinism, Christianity, election, predestination, Theodicy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 104 Comments »

The Pentecostalism Movement Was Started By A Homosexual Klansman Mason!

Posted by Job on October 24, 2007

Please read this important article by IndependentConservative. Also take note of the comments following the article. Now of course, this is not a condemnation of all charismatics. That would be impossible because, well I happen to be one! Instead, it is incumbent upon us charismatics to practice our Book of Acts – based worship in spirit and in truth according to how the Bible tells us to: right belief and right practice. The early church set the example, and we have to follow it! Otherwise, we are not true charismatics, but rather synagogues of Satan. One interesting nugget: one of the links used by IndependentConservative asserts that Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, and Martin Luther exhibited gifts of the spirit. Also, John Wesley experienced gifts of the Holy Spirit (and he also incidentally contended against FALSE charismatic activity, which apparently was going on even back then)! So we charismatics must remember: everything must be obedient to and confirmed by scripture. Otherwise, we will be found to be in violation of Revelation 2 and 3 … warnings given to the churches, not sinners!

How Fake Moves of the Holy Spirit Started in America

Posted in charismatic, Christianity, homosexuality, masonry, warning given to churches in Revelation 2 and 3 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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