Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
NARROW is the WAY!
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
are you on it?
Found a little gem in cyberspace today, and I thought I'd share it...
Along the same lines as my "A Plea For Fundamentalism
" post, Meg Logan asks: "Whatever Happened to the Straight and NARROW?
As far as I'm concerned, this question is of the UTMOST IMPORTANCE in this part of the church age.
Time Travel - Expedition # 1
Monday, May 30, 2005
I don't know if I'll end up regretting this, but I've decided to blog about some of my personal life experiences. These posts, which will come under the heading "Time Travel
", will most likely be spread out over a great deal of time (it won't be on a weekly basis that's for sure
), and will be a "raw
" look at some high, low and ordinary points in my life.
Why have I decided to begin this series? Well, the fact of the matter is, I have a terrible memory, and I have come to realize that I am beginning to forget some details of my past (yes, I'm getting THAT old
), and I find this quite disturbing. So I'm hoping that putting some of these things down in written form with help me remember elements of my past, and once written, they will be a more sure record then my undependable memory.
So without further ado, let's time travel...
* * *('77-'81)
He would terrorize me every night. He would scare me during the daylight hours too, but it was ten times worst at night, because unlike his silence in the daytime, the sound of his footsteps could be heard clearly in the quietness of the night. Oh! the dread of looking down the hallway from my bed, clinging to my pillow, hearing him walk faster and faster, fearing seeing him turn the corner from our living room into the hallway which connected all three bedrooms in the house.
I am of course referring to PePe (pronounced Peu-Peu). In the daytime, PePe was hooked to the basement wall in our house; a wooden, carved native sculpture of a frowning face that looked terribly threatening to me. My father loved the carved abomination (he said it reminded him of Pierre Trudeau's face which he said always seemed terribly whinny), so when I expressed my fears of PePe to my parents, they simply downplayed my concerns, closing the conversation with the patronizing: "there...there..."
There was no escaping PePe. You see, my toy box was in the basement and you guessed it, right in front of PePe's evil glare. I remember running downstairs to get toys, picking up what I wanted and running up as fast as I possibly could. I also remember, on several occasions, being so overcome with fear on some of these "toy pick-ups" that half way up the stairs I would freeze, my body totally paralyzed with the fear that PePe was right behind me, ready to cause me unimaginable harm. My mother, hearing my screams of terror would usually come and rescue me, wondering what in the world had upset me so much.
The cat and mouse game between me and PePe continued until we moved out of our house on Dew crescent, a move that had broken my heart, but that had finally rid me of the abominable PePe. Little did I know though, that other terrors would await me in the near future, and that I would one day, have another encounter with PePe...
(btw... if you haven't figured it out, PePe's footsteps... it wasn't all my imagination... you see, when I would first fear PePe climbing up the stairs to get me, while in my bed, I would lay on my side, keeping a close eye down the hallway, clinging my pillow tightly... the pillow would be pressed hard against my ear, so that I could hear my heartbeat... as my fear increased, so did my heartbeat, which I believed were the sounds of PePe, walking around in the basement)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!
Sunday, May 29, 2005
It's all about Israel..."O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37)
This is another verse misused by those who reject the Doctrines of Grace. The objection goes something like this: "This verse clearly says God wanted to gather the people of Jerusalem as a hen with her chickens, and THEY WOULD NOT!"
The problem with this objection is that it ignores who this verse is written to. This verse is not to be viewed as God's inability to save the people of Jerusalem, but rather it is a LAMENT over the sins of Israel, His ELECT NATION! Now what do I mean by elect nation? That all Jews (past, present and future) are the elect of God and therefore are going to Heaven? No. The Bible says:"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel." (Romans 9:6)
Not every individual Jew is elect, but the nation of Israel has been chosen unto a future, and total, salvation:"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the ELECTION, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. FOR THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE." (Romans 11: 25-29)
The Lord Jesus Christ, in Matthew 23:37, laments over the state of His chosen nation at that particular time. There are times in my life I believe the Lord laments over my state; the same applies for Israel here. You will find other such laments in Scripture, and always towards His elect nation. For example:"O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29)"O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." (Isaiah 48:18)
Israel! God's elect nation! And the day is coming in which the Lord will indeed gather up His Jewish elect as a hen gathers her chicks.
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
No Street Preaching Tonight
Saturday, May 28, 2005
too much to do...
Sorry folks, there will be no Friday Night Notes tonight since I was unable to make it out for Street Preaching. It was raining up here today, and even if the weather would have cooperated, I had to stay home to work on a sermon I will be preaching on the Lord's Day evening service.
Pray that I get all of it done, and that my preaching would bless my brothers and sisters,
John 3:16 And The "Choose" Verses
Friday, May 27, 2005
which came first, the chicken or the egg..."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
John 3:16 is an often quoted Bible verse when one is objecting to Calvinism. The idea being, that if God says "whosoever believeth", then that means God has done everything He could, now He waits for the soul to "believe". The same argument is made with verses like these:"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)
So are such verses the Achilles' Heal of Calvinism? Uh...no.
CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! (I warned you that you'd get sick of me writing that...LOL
Every verse in the Bible has an immediate context, as well as a global context. The problem with the John 3:16 objection to Calvinism is that it disregards the global context of Scripture. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30)
So is this verse saying that we Christians should be a mutilated bunch? That whenever we sin with a part of our body, we should cut it off? The immediate context around these verses seem to indicate that it is the case, so what do you think, should we start chopping? Again...no. Why? Because the global context of Scripture does not support such a view. Peter didn't sow his mouth shut after he denied the Lord three times. Thomas didn't pluck out his eyes when he failed to believe, by faith, that the Lord had resurrected.
When reading verses like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 and Joshua 24:15 we must bear in mind the Whole Counsel of God, especially verses like:"We love him, because he first loved us." (1 John 4:19)We love God enough to choose Him, because He first loved us. When combined with Romans 5:8, the picture is perfect: God loved us (His elect) before we even cared to know Him (we were yet sinners)."Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)We choose and work out our salvation only because God gives us the will and the strength to do so. And for what? For His good pleasure."And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48)Those who choose/believe in God are those who have been ordained or predestined by Him unto eternal life."Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)Really friends, could it be any clearer?
God, in His Scriptures sends out the general call to all men, elect and non-elect, to repent and believe on the Gospel, but only those He regenerates will answer that call. God most likely has done things this way because He has not purposed to speak directly to all His elect (as He did with Paul
) to bring them to salvation, but rather, He uses the general "megaphone" method, knowing the reprobate will disregard the Good News, but His elect will "know the voice of the good Shepherd (John 10:14-16
Praise God that eternal salvation DOESN'T rest in the feeble hands of Man... if it did, who among us could enter His holy rest?
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Thursday, May 26, 2005
how does this figure in Calvinism...
This post isn't going to be long. Why? Because using foreknowledge to bring an objection to the Doctrines of Grace is down right dumb. You see the objection goes something like this: God only foreordains and predestines some to Heaven because the foreknew (knew ahead of time
) that the elect would choose to follow God. The following verse is usually used to support this argument:"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)
Okay, everyone knows God is omniscient right? Right. God has, does and will always know everything about the past, the present and the future. Okay, put on your thinking caps on now. Go back to before God created anything; do you really believe that whatever God foresaw would take place in His future Creation, was complete news to Him? Nonsense! God did NOT learn anything through foreknowledge. God is omniscient remember! He has never been surprised, He has never had a new idea, He has never gained any knowledge. God foreknew His elect BECAUSE He foreordained them to be His elect. Denying this is an attack on the omniscience of God.
Still unconvinced? Alright. Try this one: if God chose His elect on the basis of His foreknowledge of their choice, what's the point of Romans 8:29-30? If God foresaw my saving faith before the creation of the world, why not just leave things be? Why complicate things with predestination and election when He foresaw my "decision for Christ"?
In conclusion, there has been some contentions a few days ago over foreknowledge and foreordination. The debate was over whether these two words were synonymous or not. Three Greek words were presented, two of them coming from the same root word, the other, in effect, came from a different Greek word. The definition of foreknowledge is "to have knowledge beforehand", and the definition of foreordination is "to predetermine". Different definitions, yet both words, when speaking of God's use of foreknowledge or foreordination, are quite synonymous, as my post has argued. That is why the King James Version of the Bible uses the terms interchangeably (see 1 Peter 1:2 and 1 Peter 1:20
, "foreknowledge" and "foreordained" are from the exact same Greek word
When God foresees, He's foreordained.
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Evangelism? What's the point?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
did calvinism kill the evangelism star?
I get it all the time. People who, after reading/hearing that I am involved in street evangelism, and that every week, say: "but you're a Calvinist! why do you bother?" You see the rationale is this: Calvinists believe that God foreordained the salvation and the condemnation of all men before the world began, so why should a Christian be responsible to evangelize the world? When everything is already decided, and nothing can go awry, why bother? Why not just let God take care of it all?
This objection, this whole line of questioning has it's roots in PRIDE. Yep, the sin of pride. We love the concept of being "masters of our own destiny". We like to think we're very, very important in the world. We see our actions as being pretty critical and absolutely necessary. You see, an unsanctified Christian reads the Great Commission in the Gospels, and immediately thinks: "I have to share the Gospel with people, or else they won't be saved!" Note the attitude here: if I
don't do "this", then God can't or won't do "that". P-R-I-D-E.
So, why does a Calvinist evangelize?1. Because God commands us to do it.
Simple enough isn't it? I never could understand why, for so many Christians, obedience to the Word of God only happens if what the Bible teaches makes sense to them. God said:"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
That's good enough for me. I don't need any promises of results, or any explanations as to why I should bother obeying that commandment. The fact it is there, and in all three other Gospels is all I need to get evangelizing.2. God has purposed to save His people through the preaching of His Word."Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:26-27)"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21)
God saves His elect through human evangelism. He didn't opt to use angels or any other part of His creation to bring His people to salvation. He chose "the foolishness of preaching". It is God's command to us, it is our responsibility. Paul could say that he was pure of the blood of all men because he had faithfully presented the Gospel to everyone around him; he had done all he could do. The rest was up to God. Paul's words and actions didn't effect salvation in any man; it was God using Paul that effected salvation in His elect that heard Paul's words. You want proof? Here it is:"And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." (Acts 13:48)
Note that not everyone believed, though all had heard the exact same message by Paul and Barnabbas. Rather, all whom the Lord had predestined to eternal life, believed.3. There are blessings/rewards for those who obey the Great Commission, woes to those who don't."So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour." (1 Corinthians 3:7-8)"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel." (1 Corinthians 9:16-18)
Obedience to the Great Commssion will have ABSOLUTELY NO impact on the number of souls that enter Heaven. As seen in previous posts, God has determined the exact number of those He would justify before there even was a world (John 6:39, Ephesians 1:4
). Obedience in fulfilling the Great Commission will be used of God to save His elect, and will bring blessings to the faithful soul who did the work of evangelism in obedience. If you will not be that faithful soul, God will use another believer to get the work of salvation done in whom He wills.
Calvinists are not fatalists. We do NOT take the position that God will take care of saving His people minus the involvement of men, and all we have to do is stand by for the day the Lord calls us home. This type of fatalism is sometimes attributed to so-called "hyper-Calvinist" cults, though, to be honest, I never met such a soul. I have however had the displeasure of meeting Calvinists who were quite cold to evangelism and took comfort in the fact that God will nonetheless save His elect. This is sin. But things aren't any prettier on the arminian side, for I have met scores and scores of arminians who are also cold to evangelism, and that, even though they actually believe that the amount (and method
) of evangelism will actually save more/or less souls.
In conclusion, the doctrine of Evangelism and the Doctrines of Grace are not in conflict. Both are clearly taught in Scripture, and must be accepted and obeyed by all who call themselves Bible-believeing Christians. When I prepare for my Friday Night of Street Preaching, I pray that the Lord would bring His elect out to hear the Gospel. I preach to all because God did not tattoo His elect for me to know which ones are His. While I preach to all, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that the only place the seed of the Gospel will grow, is in the good ground found in the hearts of those God has regenerated (or quickened - Ephesians 2:1
My dear readers, I pray that by God's grace, the Holy Spirit would teach you to be faithful to these two very important doctrines: God's Sovereign Election, and His Great Commission.
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
But That's Not Fair ! ! !
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
another anti-Calvinism staple...
Next to the "robots
" objection, the "not fair" argument is the most used one against the doctrine of election/predestination. The argument can be summarized like this: "If God is the One who decides who goes to Heaven, and who is condemned, how can He justly punish the wicked with the Lake of Fire? Would it not be unfair of God to condemn reprobate souls which could never come to him?
Again, logic and Scripture answers this objection.Logic:
I like Michael's blog
. Christian Conservative
is one of my favorite reads. I like Michael's posts
so much, I have just added 3 links to his blog which could move some of my traffic to visit his blog. On the other hand, I do not like Arianna Huffington. I have no time for the Huffington Post's nonsense. I loathe the material on that blog so much, I will not link the dumb-dumb site.
Does this make me unjust? Am I being unfair to Arianna Huffington?
Of course not. This is MY BLOG. I have the right to do whatever I want with it. I don't owe Arianna or Michael anything. If I show favour to one, and not to the other, it is my right. Grace is not an obligation or it is no longer grace.
Apply the exact same reasoning to God's treatment of His elect and the reprobate.Scripture:
In Romans 9:17-20, we read:"For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth. THOU WILT SAY THEN UNTO ME, WHY DOTH HE YET FIND FAULT? FOR WHO HATH RESISTED HIS WILL? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?"
LOL...look at that, even the apostle Paul had to contend with arminians! Okay, seriously, need I say more? Paul both anticipated the "it's not fair" objection to the doctrine of election/predestination AND gave us the answer to the objection. In summary, the answer is: "Who do you think you are sinner, to tell God what's right? God has full authority over His creation, to do whatever He wills with it, and that includes Man." You may not like this answer, but it's the one God's Word gives, so deal with it!
In conclusion, consider this: when it comes to God's dealings with man, what is fair? Well, fairness is about justice right? So when we speak of justice, what is Man's portion?
We are sinners by birth (Psalm 51:5
), and sinners by choice (Romans 3:23
). All of us. We are, by nature, the children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3
). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23
), both physical and spiritual death. If God were "fair" as in 100% just, and without grace, all of human kind would be destined for the Lake of Fire, with NO HOPE of justification.
Praise Him for His gracious salvation! God has never owed anything to any man. As I mentioned above, if grace is an obligation, it is no longer grace."O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Romans 11:33-36)
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Satan, Adam, Eve and the Fall
Sunday, May 22, 2005
back to Calvinism...
A more cerebral objection that often comes up, mostly from people who really work hard at rejecting the doctrine of election/predestination, is one that involves the Fall of Man, and the "necessity" of their "free-will". This objection is closely related to the next objection I am preparing to deal with, the "but that's not fair!" objection.
First off, I feel it is important to deal with the following foundational truth before going any deeper... you may want to sit down now... can't say I didn't warn you... okay, here goes: GOD FORORDAINED THE FALL OF MAN! (I can hear all my arminian readers shrieking in horror here
). This idea is NOT something I just dreamed of to fit my "Sovereign God package", but rather I have arrived at this conclusion by logic and by Scripture (again the latter being the most important
: God is omniscient. He knows everything. Past, present, future, He knows it all. So, during the very act of Creation, God knew everything that would subsequently happen in His Creation. If He didn't, if God said: "whoa! I can't believe what's just happened here!" Well, our God most certainly isn't omniscient. Perish the thought. So, by the Creation of all that exists, God set in motion all the events that would follow, and one of those events, sadly, was the Fall of Man.Scripture
:"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8)"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." (1 Peter 1:18-20)
Can anyone explain to me how it would be possible for God to forordain the slaying of His Dear Son before the foundation of the world without the knowledge that there would actually be sinners to save? Without the FAll of Man, the work of the Cross becomes absolutely futile. If the atonement was forordained, so was the Fall.
So, is God the Author of sin? If He forordained the Fall of both man and angel (Satan and his hosts
), does not the blame for the Fall ultimately land on Him? No. As we have seen in previous posts, God is NOT the Author of sin. God did NOT place sin in the heart of Satan, or Adam of Eve. That much is certain.
How then, did Satan, Adam and Eve come to leave their holy state to become depraved, fallen sinners? Well, I'll be honest, that is a tough question. But let me make this precision, the question isn't any easier to the one who rejects Calvinism (the arminian has to somehow keep God ignorant of what Satan, Adam and Eve were going to do
). The key to how I have worked out this difficulty is in this following verse:"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
It is God that supports and upholds His people to any proper standard. If that support disappears, things fall apart. R.L. Dabney puts it this way:"a finite creature can only be indefectible through the perpetual indwelling and superintendence of infinite wisdom and grace, guarding the finite and fallible attention of the soul against sin."
I believe this is what happened to Satan, and the first human beings. God righteously removed, at least in part, his "indwelling" and "superintendence" allowing His created beings to wander into rebellion. God did NOT work the rebellion, He just allowed for it to happen; again, to fulfill what He had forordained.
Satan, Adam and Eve had a much "free-er" will than ours, in that they did not carry with them a sin nature (prior to the Fall
) like we do. That being said, they most certainly did NOT operate independantly from God. No one has or ever will act independant from the God of Heaven. The first living "free agents" were totally dependant on God's grace to keep them from, literally, FALLING.
Think about it, without God keeping Satan from making only one booboo, one mistake, one wrong thought... BOOM! Enter the sin nature.
How totally dependant this Creation is to it's Creator!
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 21, 2005
another one in the books...
We interrupt the "Answering Objections To Calvinism" series for the my usual summary of our street preaching endeavour.
My pastor and I were out for 3 hours of street preaching and Gospel literature distribution, and this is a quick breakdown of how things went:The Good:
-A young lady spoke with my pastor for some time about attending one of our services. She was impressed with our evangelistic effort. After their conversation ended, she stepped away a few feet and started interceding the Lord on our behalf (I could see, from across the street, that her eyes were closed and her lips moved, indicating she was praying
). She did this for a whole 30 minutes! When my turn came up to preach, she offered to fetch us something to drink. From my pastor's conversation with her, this woman wasn't a strong believer by any stretch of the imagination, but the Lord revealed the importance of what we were doing to her, and she showed great kindness. The Lord bless her.
-I had a chat with a kind Muslim (LOL
). I'm not kidding, the man was down right charming. He told me he was from Iraq where Christians and Muslims get along with each other. He said, in Iraq, Muslims fight Muslims, and Christians fight Christians, but Christians and Muslims pretty much don't have anything to do with each other. He went on to explain how most Muslims viewed Christ as a prophet of God. I went on to challenge that position by quoting the verse where Jesus refers to Himself as "I am". He acknowledged that there were problems with what the Bible says about Jesus and the Muslim belief of who He "was". It was really interesting talking to him. It was clear through our conversation that the garden variety Muslim has no idea what "Allah" requires of them; what he will forgive, and what he will condemn. We concluded our chat with me reinforcing the concept that without Jesus, the Bible makes it clear, there is NO salvation. He took one of our Bible tracts and said "farewell".
-A man heading for a bar looked at me and said: "when you were a boy, could you have imagined this would be your destiny?" To which I answered: "no way! but praise God it was!" He just smiled and gave me a thumbs up sign.
-The police were out in full force tonight. They do that in the first few weeks of summer. They call it "blitzing", it's making their presence known to set the tone for the whole summer season, when things get busy in the marketplace. Anyway, a police officer came by to where I was preaching and asked me where my pastor was. I pointed to where my pastor was and one of the police officers took off towards him. Turns out the police officer is a good friend of my pastors; a long time protector if you will. It's good to know that you have someone with authority out there that has your six.The Bad:
-Ah! pride. My chief sin. Shame on me. A staple when street preaching is being called an idiot, a brainwashed fool, a dumb-dumb. You have no idea how it irks me! Whenever someone treats me to a "get a job" or a "get a life", I just want to go on the offensive. Show them just how much smarter and better I am than they could ever with to be. P-R-I-D-E! Anyway, I didn't say a word to anyone, but it was in my heart, let me tell ya!
-A couple of drunken fools guilt-tripped me into wasting a whole lot of time dealing with them, you know, the old "well, if you were a good Christian, you'd talk to me." They weren't interested in hearing the Gospel, they just wanted to show me the merits of their own foolish philosophy. A real aggravating waste of time.
And that's about how it went. I'm going to bed now, I have a big day of work tomorrow (we're helping friends repair their house roof).
Take care and good night, dear readers,
God Wants Everyone To Be Saved...Right???
Friday, May 20, 2005
what does God want...
Another popular objection to the doctrine of predestination/election is that it is in contradiction with God's desire for ALL MEN to be saved. The argument isn't based on one, but these two Scriptures:"Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4)"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
So, is the Doctrines of Grace toast? I mean, look at these verses! How could God predestine some to condemnation if He isn't willing that any should perish? How could God keep salvation from some, if He wills to have all men to be saved?
CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! (you're so going to get sick of me saying that...LOL
First, let's deal with 1 Timothy 2:4, and let's pick up the context in verse 1 and 2:"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."
So, in these verses, Paul explains to Timothy that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving should be made for 'all kinds' of men. Now you may say: "wait a minute Rand, you just added to Scripture! it isn't 'all kinds' but 'all'!" My answer is: "Nope, it's 'all kinds', really!" Turn to 1 Timothy 6:10. Read the verse in the King James version, then read it in the NIV or the NKJV. You'll notice that in the KJV, it's "the root of all evil", and in the modern versions, it's "the root of all kinds of evil". So which one is right? Well, they both are...LOL! You see the Greek word for "all" allows for it to be translated simply "all", or "all kinds". How do we know which one is more appropriate?
CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!!
In 1 Timothy 6:10, it is clear that "the root of all evil" isn't money, it is indeed, "the root of all kinds of evil". And in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, it is also clear that Paul wasn't charging Timothy to pray for "all men" (could you imagine the task!
), but rather "all kinds" of men, not just for the peasants, but for kings and those who are in authority too!
So, how does this context influence verse 4? Well, there is a very simple hermeneutical rule (Bible interpretation rule
) that says, when you interpret a word a certain way in one verse, then you must remain consistent with your interpretation throughout the remaining passage (remaining context
). By following this rule 1 Timothy 2:4 now reads like this:"Who will have all kinds of men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
Clearly, this verse is not saying that God wants all men to be saved. In context, it is saying that God will not save only the poor and common, but will also save kings and those who have authority. You have to understand the importance of this charge in the day that Paul wrote it. Most of the civilized world in his day was ruled by the Roman empire, and the Roman army, for the most part was despised. Paul was making it clear that God could and would save even in those who were part, or supported the Romans.
Secondly 2 Peter 3:9. Now this one is much simpler to explain. Actually this is a common way to see how careful a Christian is about respecting the context of a verse. This is actually an easy test.
CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!! CONTEXT!!!
Ask yourself, what is the theme or context surrounding verse 9? Hint...hint...what is this "promise" that Peter is referring to? Ok...look at verse 4, 7, and 10. It's the Second Coming!!! Alright, now ask yourself this: "who is the us-ward?" Look at 2 Peter 1:1. "To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
! Christians! my friends, Christians! God's elect!
So what is
Peter saying in 2 Peter 3:9? Simple! God isn't slack concerning His promise to return, but is longsuffering towards His elect, not willing that any of His elect should perish, but that all His elect should come to repentance. If the Lord Jesus Christ had not been longsuffering and had returned 1000 years ago, Rand would never have come to repentance, because Rand wasn't around 1000 years ago. This verse fits well with Romans 11:25 where Paul reminds us that "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
This is why the church age continues...it continues because there are still Gentiles to be saved.
Let us be clear dear readers, if God wanted
all men to be saved, all men would
be saved. We do not serve an impotent God, rather, we serve an omnipotent God! And the Scriptures make it quite clear that God uses his omnipotence and sovereignty in the salvation, and condemnation of man:"The LORD hath MADE all things for himself: yea, EVEN THE WICKED FOR THE DAY OF EVIL." (Proverbs 16:4)
"For whom HE did FOREKNOW, HE also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom HE did PREDESTINATE, them HE also CALLED: and whom HE CALLED, them HE also JUSTIFIED: and whom HE JUSTIFIED, them HE also GLORIFIED." (Romans 8:29-30)"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: WHEREUNTO ALSO THEY WERE APPOINTED. BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." (1 Peter 2:7-9)
Think about it, dear saints,
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Hello .. I have questions ..
How does God call a lost sinner to obtaining salvation which is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9)? and what does GRACE mean?
Primarily, God calls sinners through the preaching of His Word: "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17).
It should also be pointed out that in Ephesians 2:8-9, it is "faith" that is a gift from God.
Grace strictly means "unmerited favour". God graciously saves sinners without any input from them. One cannot work their way to saving faith, or pay their way to saving faith. There is nothing we can do to merit, in any way, God's favour.
Salvation is a gracious work of God in some, not all. While we cannot know why God is gracious on some, and not on otheres, the Bible makes it clear that God's choices are done in "all prudence and wisdom (Ephesians 1).
Watch Out For Them Calvinist Robots!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
if no free-will...then what???
You don't have to be debating Calvinism too long before the "robots" argument surfaces. The idea is this: if God forordained and predestined everything for everyone, then are we not all just fulfilling a program already determined by God? Are we indeed mindless robots marching on towards glory or condemnation, depending on our programming?
Calvinists do not believe that we are robots.
We are CLAY."Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? SHALL THE THING FORMED SAY TO HIM THAT FORMED IT, Why hast thou made me thus? HATH NOT THE POTTER POWER OVER THE CLAY, of the same LUMP to make one VESSEL unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the VESSELS of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the VESSELS of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:19-24)
You may think I'm just being cute here, but I assure you, I'm not. I'm being biblical. A robot is programmed or remote-controlled into action. This cannot be true of us. If it were, God would be the author of sin, which we commit on a daily basis."Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (James 1:13)
The fact is (don't faint now
) we are all "free agents". Notice that I did not say we have a free will, but rather, we have free agency.Free Will:
the ability to make choices without any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition. The natural capacity of the human will to make free moral decisions.Free Agency:
by a free and responsible agent we mean an intelligent person who acts with rational self-determination.
So, why free agency instead of free will? Because the Scriptures make it clear that we DO NOT "make choices without any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition":"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." (Romans 3:10-12)"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)
We are sinners by birth and by choice. All of us are warped by our sin nature. This nature keeps us from desiring God or anything that involves God. Without the salvation of God, we are LITERALLY by nature the children of wrath (as Ephesians 2:3 puts it). Without God, our sin nature inclines us to sin continually and stay far away from God; with God, the Holy Spirit in the believer inclines him/her to seek God and glorify God with his/her life. Within these confines, a believer, and an unbeliever, can make "rational self-determination". This is free agency.
So no, we ARE NOT ROBOTS. We are CLAY. With that clay, God makes vessels unto honour (those He has chosen unto salvation
), and vessels unto dishonour (those He has left in their sin nature
). Each group does exactly what they WANT TO DO. One wants to sin, the other wants to live for God. Their wills are directed by their natures.
Finally, let us be clear, no one operates independently of God. NO ONE! Our lives, like everything else in Creation are under the sovereign control of God and exist for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God."The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." (Proverbs 16:4)"For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another." (Isaiah 48:9-11)
This is my God! The God of the Bible. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and SOVEREIGN over ALL His Creation, and that includes a vessel called RAND.
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
who chose who???
It never ceases to amaze me. "Christians" who deny the sovereign election of God in the salvation of men. Let me be blunt: as far as I'm concerned, the FACT of God's election of men for salvation is as clear and certain to me as the doctrine of the Trinity. You think I'm exaggerating? Consider this:"I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalm 2:7)
At face value, this verse seems to contradict the doctrine of the Trinity, yet no one who dares to call themselves born-again Christians would ever deny, or even question, the FACT that God is triune. So why is it when Christians read verses like Joshua 24:15, or Acts 16:31, sovereign election flies out the window?
Logic and Scripture (the latter being the most important
) clearly teach the FACT of God's sovereign election.
First, the logic: is God omniscient (all-knowing
)? Does God know everything that is past, present and future? If you answer "yes", logic dictates that you believe in God's election. If God knew everything before He first formed anything, then in the very act of Creation, God has, in effect predestined everything that would take place. I know this is hard to wrap our heads around, but take your time, read this paragraph a few times if you have to. This is an important concept. If God knew everything about you before He created Adam, just by creating Adam, you were destined to be, and to be exactly how God willed you to be (check out Psalm 139:16).
Secondly, the insane amount of Scripture:"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth." (Romans 9:11)"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:4-6)"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering." (Colossians 3:12)"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)
This is by no means an exhaustive list...not even close! To deny the doctrine of unconditional election
, is to deny a key doctrine of the Bible. It is to make a myriad of Bible verses of absolute none effect. So don't fight the Truth, accept it. God has chosen His people, and that since "before the foundation of the world."
Now I understand that accepting God's sovereign election brings a whole lot of other questions like: why is man still responsible to believe
? Why do Christians still need to evangelize
? What about our "free-will
"? My recommendation, don't be afraid to tackle these questions! Don't reject a clear teaching of Scripture just because it causes tough questions. God gave you a brain...use it!
Now please, don't take the "oh! it really doesn't matter" philosophy; if God put election in the Bible, it matters. And also, stay away from accepting contradictory doctrines, this may be an easy way out of a tough issue, but it isn't the way to understanding. God doesn't speak with a forked tongue (it's the devil who took the form of a serpent
). God either chose/elected those who are and would be saved, or man must choose God before He grants him the second birth.
Be wise, consider the Scriptures, and may God give you light to understand and receive the truth of His sovereign election.
Take care and God bless,
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Not Forsaking The Assembling Of Ourselves Together
Monday, May 16, 2005
the importance of church services...
In my country, in these wicked days, a local church with a membership of 100, usually has it's attendance breakdown like this:Sunday morning worship service: 80-100 personsSunday evening worship service: 40-60 personsMid-week worship service: 20-40 persons
What a sad testimony! Now I can accept that some may, genuinely, not be able to attend the mid-week service due to work, but to the point that it affects half the church??? I don't think so. The fact of the matter is, for too many Christians, the attraction of evening TV or any other vain activity lures them away from their church meetings.
This is a problem.
The question is simple: how can it be that a born-again child of God would prefer wasting his/her time in vanity when he/she could be worshiping the God who saved them from eternal condemnation? This is nothing short of disobedience and sin. Could Hebrews 10:25 be any clearer?"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
The day my brothers and sisters in the Lord, is unquestionably approaching. Now more than ever, surrounded by wickedness and apostasy, we should be faithful to ALL our church services to:(a) worship to God of Heaven as a complete local church(b) corporately petition the Lord for revival and spiritual blessings(c) receive and give Christian encouragement and teaching from/to your brothers and sisters
(which is done through the exercise of our spiritual gifts - 1 Peter 4:10
Doing any of the above at a church meeting is of far greater value than any TV show, outdoor BBQ, or get-together with friends. If you are not attending every possible service, bible study and prayer meeting at your local church dear saint, don't you think it's time you should?
Onward and Forward,
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Mama is a good friend of ours. We encourage you to have a look at her new blog, www.ofgreatprice.blogspot.com
. So far, she has written a testimony of how she came to faith in the Lord.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 14, 2005
sometimes it just makes me want to cry...
Another week done, another night of street preaching. Just my pastor and I tonight. It turned kind of cool up here these last few days, but we still preached the Gospel for approximately 3 hours. There wasn't too much aggravation or trouble, but there wasn't much sign of spiritual life either.
It really is amazing, you know, the scores and scores of people who mock, reject and hate the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; and therefore consequently, the huge number of souls who are walking the broad way, that leadeth to destruction (Matthew 7:13).
Let's see now, I was told on many occasions to "get a life", a homosexual walked up to me a described some of his perversions just to see if he'd get me angry (which of course, only made me sad
), a couple of Muslims came along and asserted Allah was "the way", and finally was told that I was blaspheming God because I believed in the Bible-Only.
I would have been on one serious downer after tonight, but a couple of Reformed Presbyterians came along, and though we are apart on many important doctrines, they really refreshed my soul. They thanked me and encouraged me for the work I was doing. And then they crossed the street and did the same to my pastor.
Remember my brothers and sisters, if you see an evangelist working at the Great Commission in any shape or form, stop by and encourage him. Help him/her if you can. Evangelism can be quite the burden sometimes, especially when one is by himself/herself. The world can really wear on a person when the times are evil, let us refresh one another with teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).
With that, I'm off to bed! My church has organized a hike in the mountains tomorrow and I have been asked to preach to the group in the afternoon, so I need my rest.
Good night, and God bless you, dear readers,
Sticks and Stones...
Thursday, May 12, 2005
what are they thinking...
In these last few weeks, I have fallen victim to a fair bit of mockery and insult (you may have not seen any, I have deleted and banned many comments/commentors
). I must say, this kind of makes me happy. LOL. A preacher knows he is preaching something good when the wicked get riled up.
How do I know that those who mock/insult me are wicked?
Simple. Mockery and insult are the tools of the wicked. A child of God is not to use these ungodly elements to convey any message. They are of the devil."But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. " (Jude 17-19)
I will quickly answer some of my critics attacks though, in the faint hope that I may shame some of them, to the salvation/sanctification of their souls.1- "You're a Romaphobe!"
This one makes me laugh. I take it that this word is meant to convey the idea that I, ignorantly, hate Romanists. The problem is, that isn't what this made up word means. "Roma" means Rome, but "phobe" would be from "phobia" which means "fear of". LOL. I assure you that I have no fear of Romanism. I WAS A ROMANIST!
Be that as it may, I do not IGNORANTLY reject Romanism. I reject it because I know their heresies and their wicked practices. I USED TO ENGAGE IN THEM. I have put more years in Romanism than most of my recent detractors.
To close this one, if you want to make the charge more accurate, try "anti-romanist" or "aromanist". It will at least be more accurate. And while you are at it, you may want to ask yourself, my dear romanist, if mockery and slander are part of your official dogma.2- "You're harsh!":
I sometimes do come across as direct and harsh in my posts and comments, but that is a limitation of the medium used. No one can really tell what my tone is when reading my posts/comments. I do not and WILL NOT use little "happy faces", and flattery to gain anyone's favour. I post the Bible way:"He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue." (Proverbs 28:23)3- "You're arrogant!":
Now this one is a classic! I post something I am absolutely convinced of, someone takes exception, which means, of course, I'm arrogant! (Rand rolls his eyes here
What my detractor needs to come to understand here is that for him to declare that I am wrong in a matter, pretty much means he believes he is right. And if that is that case, well, we got a "kettle and teapot" situation.
One may charge: "but you think you are right in everything you post!" My answer to that is simple: "That's because, if not otherwise stated, I post about things I'm really sure about!"4- "You're a legalist!"
Another one that makes me laugh! A legalist, when applied to Christianity, is one who seeks justification through works. I am no such person. I believe, as the Bible clearly teaches:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I would also argue here that as a Calvinist
, I take salvation by the grace of God to a level that even most Bible-believing Christians don't go to.5- "You're a hypocrite!"
Well, for this one, I will answer in a challenge. You say I'm a hypocrite? Prove it! Here's my challenge: "you come see me and spend the week by my side, and then see how hypocritical I am!" It's easy to charge someone with hypocrisy without any knowledge of them.
There are a whole lot more insults that were hurled at me that don't even merit a response (like I'm akin to the KKK, I am chauvinistic pig who demeans his wife and kids, I want everyone to go to Hell while I go to Heaven...etc...). Such juvenile comments are a real bore and you can rest assured that they will take their part in my "delete bin" as quickly as I can push the "DEL" button. So far, I've been able to keep evil comments off my blog, but if things get worst, be advised that I know have the "moderation" option on my Haloscan account. Which means, the day may come when all submitted comments to this blog will have to be approved by me before being published.
I want to end this one on a good note, so I'm going to thank all of you who have visited, and continue to visit my blog and who have left intelligent and pertinent comments over the last few months; Aimz
, Tim, Kristen
, Mama, Michael
, ArBee, John, Brad
... a sincere thank you, and hope you all continue to enjoy A Form of Sound Words
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
just something I've noticed...
After the death of a loved one, it isn't uncommon to hear a Christian say:"Oh! we will see him/her in Heaven."
Or..."He/She is finally at peace, in the presence of God."
But you never (or at the very least rarely
) hear a Christian say:"He/She rejected Christ his/her whole life, and now he/she is suffering for it."
Or..."It's a sad thing, another soul condemned to the Lake of Fire."
This has always bothered me because, when we consider Matthew 7:13-14..."Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
...one would think the reverse would be more likely. But no, instead, when the rare Christian comes along and says something like:"No! no, Mother Teresa isn't in Heaven, she lived her life dedicated to the Romanist idea of salvation through works; she has been in Hades now for a number of years and will have her part of the Lake of Fire after the great and terrible judgement of the Lord."
Almost immediately, his brothers and sisters in Christ assault him with the following charges:"Who are you to judge, doesn't the Bible say: Judge not lest ye be judged?"
(I still stand by the view that Matthew 7:1 is the most misinterpreted verse in the Bible
Or..."How do you know that Mother Teresa didn't repent of her errors just before dying!"
Again the interesting observation is this: the reverse is never said, nor is it even considered. For example, when was the last time you heard a conversation like this:Person A: "He/She was such a good godly person, may his/her soul rest in the Lord forever..."Person B: "But wait a minute, what if he/she rejected everything about the Gospel just before dying? How can we know what was really in his/her heart?"
I would argue that you have NEVER heard this conversation, and will, most likely NEVER hear it.My point:
We are told, in Matthew 7 (same chapter as "judge not lest ye be judged"
), to JUDGE (yes, JUDGE
) men according to their fruit. Corrupt lives mean a corrupt man/woman. Righteous, holy lives mean a righteous, holy man/woman. The wicked have their part in Hell, the righteous will receive rest in the kingdom of Heaven.
Will our fruit inspection be foolproof? Will we always be perfect in our judgements? Most likely not. But our inability to attain unto perfection in this matter is NOT a license to do away with sound judgement (ask yourselves this, do you attain unto perfect holiness? No? So would it be proper to do away with holy living?
We need the Holy Spirit to control us to judge righteously, and not to misjudge; which is the point of Matthew 7:1.
There is no doubt in my mind that this lack of sound judgement and the tendency to, by default, give justification to those who haven't been justified is a fruit of New Evangelicalism. If you do not know what New Evangelicalism is, take time to read the following articles: the first one is HERE
, second one HERE
, and third one, HERE
Good reading and may God's grace reveal His Truth to you with great power my dear readers,
Important Prayer Request
Sunday, May 08, 2005
a very urgent, and grave matter...
I just received this e-mail from my pastor. It's about Yangmi, a missionary we support in the Indian province of Manipur.
We had heard that Yangmi's son had a heart problem at birth. It seemed to have been taken care of by medication. But, Yangmi phoned this morning to inform us that the child, now 2 mos. old, has two holes in his heart and will die without surgery. The Doctors at Imphal (capital city of Manipur State) have advised that the child be taken to Bangalore where there is a hospital suited to his needs. This needs to be done now. I have told Yangmi to proceed and we will take care of their need. Yangmi has already been advised that the cost will at least $5000.00 U.S. Could be $10,000. We will have to wait until we hear what the Doctors in Bangalore say. Pray for traveling safety, accuracy and wisdom in analysis, wisdom on how to proceed.
May God's will be done.
This is the third major offensive by Satan against Yangmi since he began this good work Sept.'98. A year into the work Yangmi was almost stricken a fatal blow by typhoid fever. He has been used to establish a proper Baptist Church, independent from the mostly apostate Convention of Baptist Churches that exists. Representatives from the Convention offered him a Pastorate if he would leave his holy ways. Yangmi kept on and has been used to lead 20 other Churches out of the Convention and is influencing others. Since his marriage to Philawon, they lost their first child at 3 weeks of age, the second child died before birth, and this third child has this serious problem. I could tell that Yangmi is a very discouraged man. He said to me, "What is God doing to me?" So pray for Yangmi & Philawon's spiritual stability. We will keep you informed as we are informed.
Love in Christ,
Please pray for brother Yangmi and his wife, and pray for my pastor as he decides how to best come to Yangmi's assistance in this tragic affair. Also, pray for me, for there is no way I'm just going to stand by and let my brother in Christ lose his son and/or ruin himself financially. I don't have 5,000-10,000$ US to spare, but I assure you I'll find a way to put it together somehow before I turn a blind eye and deaf ear to a faithful missionary's needs.
I'll keep you posted on this situation,
Happy Mother's Day
a well deserved day...
Nothing remotely comes close to the intense relationship between children and their mothers. Whether the mother is on par with the "wicked witch of the west", or whether the mother is of the "Proverbs 31" type, the bond is there, and there to stay.
I've read a story about a poor soul who was abandoned by his mother at the tender age of 3; she disappeared without a trace and made no attempt to get in touch with her son. As a now famous adult, the mother reappeared; the man not only received her back into his life, but wept bitterly at her death a few years later. Amazing is the only word that comes to mind.
And this morning in my Sunday School class, I asked my students: "if you were stranded on an island with only 3 other persons, who would you want those persons to be?" All of them said two friends and, you guessed it, their mothers. When I asked: "If two of the persons left to look for help, who would you want to stay behind with you?" All of them answered: "Mom."
So have a wonderful Mother's Day, all you God-fearing, faithful mommies out there, you are all precious treasure of great value!"The virtuous woman's children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." (Proverbs 31:28)
On a personal note
: To my Mom
: have a great day Mom! I love you and will forever thank the Lord for your affection and care. To my wife
: I praise God daily for the children that you brought into this world, and for the wonderful care and love you shower upon them.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 07, 2005
an interesting day...
I started reading an online autobiography of the lead singer of a rock band I use to absolutely love. It's a real rags to riches type story. In the "rags" phase, the man finds himself depressed on a park bench, feeling lost and lonely when he is approached by another man who gives him a pamphlet, and takes off without a word. When the singer looked at the pamphlet, he read "have you accepted Jesus as Saviour?" The pamphlet had such an impact on him (though he was never saved...not yet anyway
) that he kept the pamphlet to this day.
Reading this story really encouraged me for the Street Ministry tonight. I thought to myself: the singer probably couldn't find the man who gave him that bible pamphlet, and the even the man who gave the pamphlet probably wouldn't recognize himself in the autobiography (I mean seriously, I don't remember any of the faces of the people I have given bible tracts to
). And yet, the "seed" of the Word is working (maybe not unto salvation, but it definitely is having an effect
I realized that when I finish a night of street preaching, I may very well be done and on my way to bed, but the Lord, well, "he neither slumbers or sleeps" (Psalm 121:4).
He continues to work in the hearts of men, accomplishing His perfect will through the preaching of His Word. Praise God!
With this source of motivation I went out preaching tonight with our young convert (thanks be to God for giving him the desire to reach the lost
). Because my brother in Christ is still to shy/uncomfortable with open-air preaching, it was up to my vocal chords. We were out for about 3 hours, and I managed to preach at least 2 hours of that time. We distributed a number of Bible pamphlets, had a few short conversations and myriads read the Gospel signs.
The crowds are getting bigger and bigger as the warmer weather is coming upon us, so the number of people exposed to the Gospel on our Friday night evangelism is greatly increased. Brothers and sisters in Christ, I covet your prayers for the salvation of many souls in my city, and that the Lord would be pleased to use me in bringing His salvation to His elect. Pray that the Lord would truly give me a heart for the lost, that as the Lord had compassion on the lost sheep in Jerusalem, I may have compassion on my fellow man in my city."They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:5-6)
Good night, dear readers,
Jan Hus (John Huss)
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Know your reformers...
You know this guy? You should. Many credit Jan Hus with the beginning of the Reformation.
Hus was born in Southern Bohemia (present day Czech Republic
) in 1370. He was a theology professor, a Romanist priest, and later a university rector. That's until he started reading some of John Wycliffe's (the translator of the first English bible
) sermons and writings.
Wycliffe's bible sermons had a strong impact on Hus. Instead of promoting Romanist teachings and dogma, Hus turned to teaching his congregation the Bible of all things! He began to publicly denounce such Romanist staples as Peter being the foundation of the church (instead of Christ
), the selling of indulgences, the authority of the popery, Latin mass (which none could understand except for the Romanist elite
), and other Romanist heresies.
Romanist archbishops attempted to silence Hus by burning his literature, firing him from his university post, and placing the city under interdict. Their actions failed. The population, attracted by the controversy, would flock to the Bethlehem chapel to hear him preach THE BIBLE.
Things eventually got too hot in Prague (where he preached
), so he took off and hid from the Romanist authorities in the country. After a short time, the pope sent word to Hus that he should convene in Constance, Switzerland, so he could explain his grievances with Romanism. Hus' friends warned him that he was most likely walking into a trap, but after receiving assurances that he would not be harmed, Hus took off for Constance.
Upon arriving in Constance, Hus was arrested and thrown into a Dominican dungeon where he nearly died of disease and malnutrition. When asked about his broken promise, the pope reportedly answered: "When dealing with heretics, one is not obligated to keep his word."
The subsequent trial was an utter travesty of justice. Hus wasn't even given any time to offer any defense to the myriad of charges the Romanist leaders brought against him. Without wasting any time, they condemned the righteous preacher to death; they would give him the heretics death penalty, which was burning at the stake.
So they tied Hus up, in the midst of dry stubble, and as the executioner approached him with a flaming rod, the Duke of Bavaria approached and yelled out: "Repent of your errors!" To that, the righteous man replied:
"I thought the danger already passed, but happily, I am nothing tempted to gainsay what I have advanced. I have taught the truth, and am now ready to seal it with my blood. Ultimately it shall prevail, though I may not see it. This day you kindle the flames of persecution about a poor and worthless sinner; but the spirit which animates me, shall, phoenix-like, ascend from my ashes, soar majestically on high through many succeeding ages, and prove to all the Christian world, how vain this persecution, how impotent your rage."
As the flames were kindled, and approached Jan Hus, he broke into song, singing: "Christ, Thou Son of the living God, have mercy on me."
Jan Hus' last response was correct. Shortly after his martyrdom, the Reformation was in full swing with such men as Martin Luther, John Knox and John Calvin. Bible preaching was back and that, in a big way!
Praise God for raising up men like Jan Hus. Men who stood for the Scriptures even if it meant death.
Lord, by your grace, make me to be such a man. Give me the courage and attitude to live up to the Words: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." (Matthew 16:25)
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
with a title like that, watch the perverts wind up here by mistake...
A study was just completed in my country which show a higher rate of teenage sexual activity in the last few years. You can read about it here
. Nothing in this study surprised me to be honest with you. Actually, that's not quite true. I'm surprised the situation isn't worst than it is.
The fun is in listening to the so-called experts on the newscasts try to explain this wicked, disturbing trend.
"It's a lack of self-esteem in girls," one declares.
"It's a consequence of poor family relationships," another affirms.
"It's another symptom that plagues low-income families," yet another observes.
They all throw around their meaningless theories and ignore, quite willingly, the obvious reason: WE HAVE FORSAKEN THE LORD OUR GOD!!! Our society has done away with holiness; biblical morality, we threw that out the window in the 70s. So ungodliness is flourishing in the lives of every slice of Canadian society; young, old, black, white, rich, poor...it's all the same.
You know it's interesting, when you take a close look at this study, you notice that in the provinces which are more "conservative" (more likely to fear God), the hike in fornication isn't as high. I-N-T-E-R-E-S-T-I-N-G!!!
My country is headed to ruin, in every sense of the word. The Word of God, again, is clear, and true:"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)
Straightening Rand Out
Sunday, May 01, 2005
please read before engaging...
My comment box, over the last year, has been used for various purposes. Some have used to thank me for posting a particular entry, some have expressed their disapproval, others have attempted to use it as a debate forum, and then, there have been those who was used it to "straighten me out" (LOL
). If you feel particularly aimed by any of this, it's totally of you, I'm not aiming anyone here.
I mention this because I find it funny that (and we all do this
) after reading a few posts, some would believe themselves expert enough in the knowledge of who Rand is to not only diagnose his errors, but also, to show him the "better way". I'm not talking about people who QUESTION some of my stands, but rather, those who ASSERT themselves and their positions with the idea that "Rand just didn't think this through right".
Now I'm going to hit two birds with one stone tonight. I'm going to both spell out my doctrinal/theological stand for both my "prospective correctors" and for a friend named Meg
who wanted to know more about my stand. This will NOT be a complete doctrinal statement, rather it will be points that will help identify my position within the umbrella of Biblical Christianity (Bible Only):Rand is...
1- a Baptist
2- a Fundamentalist, not a Modernist/Liberal, or a New-Evangelical
3- a Calvinist
4- a Premillenial Dispensationalist
5- a strong proponent of the King James version of the Bible
6- against the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement
7- in summary, in complete agreement with the following DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
To all who would attempt to "staighten me out" doctrinally: DO YOUR HOMEWORK, cause I promise you, I have. I do not hold to these positions because my mommy and my daddy told me it was so. I stand by these doctrines because I put my nose in the Bible and in the works of men who have written about the Bible, and have come to the conclusion that the above doctrines are biblically sound.
In conclusion, let me say that there is no doubt that the doctrines I listed above divide the church. I don't like to see such schism in Bible Christianity, but unity, true unity is always based on Truth. As long as Christians are in disagreement over Bible doctrine, there will be denominational walls.
Any other type of unity is fraudulent, and lacks Truth.