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)
The End of a Very Busy Week
Sunday, November 27, 2005
je suis fatigué...
Again, dear readers I must apologize for my lack of blogging, but it has really been a busy week. I worked a 50+ hour week in the lab and I was called upon to preach the Lord's Day evening service at church. With all these duties, I was left with very little time to blog.
Having worked late on Friday, I was unable to go out with my pastor and brother Laz for street preaching; a real and honest disappointment... I always feel like I'm letting my brothers down when I'm not with them. I was glad to hear that all went well and that the Lord kept them safe.
Anyway, I'm working on part IV of my series on infant salvation, shouldn't be long now that I actually have some free time. That being said, this week may be light in blogging since I will be away on a business trip (off to New Jersey I go...)
at the end of the week.
I would appreciate your prayers, Christian friends, for travel mercies and protection for my family while I will be away.
Babies Who Die (part III)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
As promised, here are some Bible passages that have convinced me that infants who die are definitely taken into the Kingdom of God:"And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:22-23)
Now to get the whole picture, I encourage you all to read 2 Samuel 11:1 to 12:23. What we have here is David's sin with Bath-sheba and the consequence of that fornication; that is, the death of David and Bath-sheba's baby boy.
Pay close attention to David's actions before and after the death of the child. When the baby got sick, David layed on the ground and besought the Lord for mercy. He did this all night long. He refused to eat, he spent all his time praying and begging God. When the baby died, does David go into a great depression because he knows his baby is in Hell? Does he refuse to eat, being too overcomed with grief? No, and no. Actually the exact opposite happens. He rises and eats, being comforted that one day, he will be reunited with his son.
And where will David be reunited with his son? In Hell? Uh... no. David today is in the presence of the Lord, and his son is there with him."Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam." (1 Kings 14:10-13)
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. He was an exceedingly wicked king who moved his people to idolatry. For his great sin, the Lord cursed Jeroboam and every male child of his house; they were all cursed to destruction.
Not only were all the men of Jeroboam's house cursed to die, their bodies were NOT to be buried. Their bodies were cursed to be eaten by dogs and the birds of the air, EXCEPT ONE MAN, or rather, one baby boy. Yep, Jeroboam's baby boy was spared part of the curse because "in the child was found some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel".
So what was this "good thing"? We've seen in part II of this series
that infants are born sinners. What, did the baby repent and believe on the Lord? I don't think so. The "good thing", dear readers, is I-N-N-O-C-E-N-C-E. The baby did not sin willfully, and for this reason, the Lord had mercy."But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
In this passage, we have parents bringing their children forward to have the Lord Jesus pray for them. This, for some reason, bothered the disciples to the point that they rebuked the children. The verse above is the Lord Jesus Christ's response.
Tell me, dear readers, if infants/young children are destined to the Lake of Fire if they do not profess faith, how does "of such is the kingdom of God" fit?
It doesn't."And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Revelation 5:9)
You may wonder how this passage fits in our study. Read Matthew 19:14 again, and ask yourself: "how will a Mayan (or any other group of people who have lived and died without any knowledge of our God)
be represented in the "every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation"?
The Greek word for "every" in Revelation 5:9 is "pas" and it literally means "individually", or collectively (as in one of each type)
. Every individual nation/tongue/kindred/people will be represented in Heaven either by faith in the Living God, or by the gracious salvation of their infants who have died.
Alright... we'll leave it at that for this post. Hope you are finding all this convincing, or at least, interesting. There is more to come in Part IV, so again, stay tuned.
Saturday Morning Notes
Sunday, November 20, 2005
sorry, this post is late...
We didn't go out street preaching on Friday night. Instead, brother Laz and I went out to the Santa Clause Parade (notice I didn't call it the Christmas Parade)
, with a couple of John 3:16 Gospel signs.
All and all I have to say, that standing with the Gospel at this parade was far sweeter than at the "Pride parade" or any given Friday night for that matter. The crowd, composed mostly of young families, were for the most part quite sympathetic and friendly to our message. Several parents read John 3:16 to their kids which I thought was great. A few parents did their best to ignore the Gospel signs and their children's questions about them. Fewer still, but present nonetheless, outright lied to their kids saying that the signs were just saying Santa was coming; lying to your own children, parenting at it's best I tell ya!
There were other believers out at the parade who were passing out Gospel literature, so the Truth was truly proclaimed at this foolish and wicked parade. It was good to see old friends who worship at other churches, out and about, doing the Lord's work. There was one disappointment though: I ran into an old pastor friend of mine at the parade. Problem is, he wasn't there with the Gospel, he was with his kids, waiting for Santa. How sad is that?
On a final note, here's the DUMBEST statement I heard at the Santa Parade (it came from a young man after he had read my John 3:16 sign)
-"I don't get the relevance?" he yelled.
He doesn't get the relevance? A verse about CHRIST, on CHRISTmas? I mean... yeah! what was I thinking!?!
Babies Who Die (part II)
Thursday, November 17, 2005
what saith the Scriptures???
As I insinuated in my last post, I have come to believe that infants who die go straight to Heaven. I use to believe one couldn't know their eternal destination, but I've changed my mind. What changed my mind? The Bible, of course.
First, we need to answer a couple of background questions:1- Why wouldn't babies be condemned? Are they not sinners?
Infants, like children, teenagers and adults ARE sinners. The Bible make this clear in no uncertain terms. We are sinners by BIRTH and CHOICE."Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." (Job 14:4)"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5)"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." (Psalm 58:3)
So, as sinners who have not, or rather, cannot repent and believe on the Gospel, why wouldn't infants be condemned? Well, because God, in the Bible, declares these same infants, innocent:"Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had NO KNOWLEDGE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it." (Deuteronomy 1:39)"Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of INNOCENTS." (Jeremiah 19:4)"And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than SIXSCORE THOUSAND PERSONS THAT CANNOT DISCERN BETWEEN THEIR RIGHT AND THEIR LEFT HAND; and also much cattle?" (Jonah 4:11)
Now how can this be? How can the Bible say that an infant is a sinner on the one hand, and then say that they are innocent? Is this a contradiction? As much as the wicked who read this blog would love for it to be so, there are no contradictions in the Bible.
While infants DO sin, and are therefore sinners, their sin is committed without understanding. This lack of understanding right from wrong is why it is said that they cannot "discern their right hand from their left"; it is why they are innocent. Here's an example of this: my little girl occasionally runs around the house naked. She has absolutely no concept of modesty; she is innocent. That isn't saying she doesn't sin (LOL... no way I'm saying that!
), but she has little or no understanding.
Therefore infants, being innocent, hardly make good candidates for eternal condemnation. Actually, when you consider Revelation 20:12-13, it is clear that the people who are condemned are condemned for their willful practices/actions; nowhere in Scripture do we read of someone/anyone being condemned for original sin (Adam's sin). Rather they are condemned for their own willful rebellion.2- How are infants saved, if not by repentance and faith?
Of course, infants are not saved by repentance of sin and faith in Christ, since... well, they don't get it! So how are they then saved?
By grace, of course! I believe John MacArthur, in this case, puts it perfectly:"They (infants) are saved through the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ--His death for them--because He bore the wrath of God for them as for all who could and would believe. They are saved then by grace, by sovereign grace. The only difference between their salvation and ours is faith is a part of ours... It's not a part of theirs. But then again, faith is something we contribute; faith is gift from God. So they are saved by grace in sovereign election so that the work of Christ is freely applied to them. Ours is justification by faith; theirs is justification without faith because without the knowledge and ability to understand convincingly sin and salvation, they cannot exercise that faith."
So, we've seen that though infants are born in sin (and therefore by nature are objects of wrath - Ephesians 2:3), they are declared innocent by God because of their lack of understanding. We have also seen the mode by which they would be saved, that is the electing, sovereign grace of God. What we haven't seen is specific verses that has caused me to come to the conclusion that all infants are indeed chosen of God unto salvation.
Stay tuned... those passages and my thoughts on them are coming up in Part III.
Babies Who Die (Part I)
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
what does happen to them???
This is one of those questions that every born-again saint, at some point, has to deal with. Whether they, themselves, have lost a child, or whether they simply know of someone who have lost an infant, the question comes up: Where does the little soul go? Heaven or Hell?
By default, almost everyone conclude that all infants go to Heaven. The reason? It's the most comforting thought. Bible Christians (unlike Romanists and other false religions who make salvation possible for infants by works/sacraments)
, though, are usually pretty varied in their conclusions on this matter. I believe there is a slim majority of Christians that believe the Bible just doesn't say enough on the matter, so they go with the "shall not the judge of all the Earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25b)
mindset. Another group believe that all infants are saved. They will support their position on the following passages:"But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:23)"Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
And finally, there is a third group who hold that all infants who die are condemned for simply being under the headship of Adam. They hold that without the possibility of exercising faith in Christ, they die without Him and the eternal life only He can provide. They support their position with the following Scriptures:"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Corinthians 15:22)"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
The first time I dealt with this issue, I came out of it with the "shall not the judge of all the Earth do right?" mentality. I could see the merits of the two other groups (because both supported their views with Scripture)
so I was quite happy to sit on the fence. Then, I became a Calvinist and the concept of election entered the equation. If anything, the Doctrines of Grace only made me into more of a fence sitter, because a whole other series of very complicated questions came into my mind: "were the infants of the elect, elect?", and "are all the infants who die, non-elect?" are but two examples of questions I couldn't quite come to answer.
And then came John MacArthur. Roughly two years ago, I was doing some deskwork at my job when I decided that I would listen to an online sermon while working. I found a link to the Grace To You
radio program, and heard a pretty good message on, you guessed it, "what happens to babies when they die" (you can read the transcripts here
Now let me precise that I was not "looking" to have my mind changed on this matter. If the Bible were truly silent on the matter of what happens to infants who die, I would have no problem with just trusting that God will do what is right and good. But while the two MacArthur sermons were far from perfect (there are a number of points in his sermons that I think are off), it did bring my attention to key passages of Scripture which I hadn't carefully examined before. What are these Scriptures, and how did they impress me?
Stay tuned to find out.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, November 12, 2005
a rough night...
This is where I was earlier today with my eldest son, Remembrance Day ceremony in my country's capital, Ottawa. It was a solemn service, prayers were said (not in Jesus' name unfortunately), Bible passages were read, and expressions of thankfulness to our veterans were expressed. It was good to see my fellow countrymen in such a serious and solemn state; sadly, it didn't last.
Just a few hours later, roughly 1 km away from the site of the ceremony, my pastor and I were soldiering on, preaching the Gospel of Christ in the marketplace. Let me tell you, it was anything but a solemn night. People were back to their drinking, cursing and immorality, and that, in full force.
We preached for almost 3 hours and I must say that the first 2 hours went fairly well. We distributed some Gospel literature, we preached openly with our little amplifier, and no one antagonized us too grievously. But then came the last hour, and it was pretty brutal.
It's almost as if the marketplace had had enough of us, because in that last hour we were cursed at, mocked, scorned, and finally, my personal favorite, threatened with violence. Yes, yet again I was faced with my old weakness of not being able to deal well with violence. Everything started when this man walked by me and told me to go "bleep" myself.
"The Lord will one day punish you for your vile words sir, lest you repent of them," I replied.
The man just mocked me and started walking away, but one of his buddies, who was lagging behind him because of his drunkenness, took exception to my preaching, so he tried to grab the microphone headset I was wearing. I moved away to get out of his reach and at that point, he decided to try kicking our amplifier to bits. At this moment I was frozen in confusion. The drunk fool had time to kick the amplifier 4-5 times before I snapped out of my muddled state and moved in front of the amplifier.
"If you won't repent, can you at least learn to respect?" I asked him, preparing myself to receive a few kicks myself.
"Who do you think you are? Paul? You trying to be Paul?" he asked mockingly.
"That's exactly who I hope to be like," I answered gravely.
At this point, the drunk man's friends were getting nervous that the police would come and arrest them for damaging our amplifier, so they took him away.
My pastor and I surveyed the damage and thankfully, only the protective casing of the amplifier was damaged (my pastor, wisely, placed the amp in a wooden casing with a metal mesh in front of it, to protect his investment).
The drunk man eventually came back, probably out of fear we would press charges against him, to survey the damages himself. We took advantage of this "calmer" moment to impress on him that it was the combination of his drunkenness and his hatred for God that had caused him to do so wickedly. He took it all in and walked away. Please pray for the poor lost man, that the Lord would even this night, reveal to him the wonderful Gospel of the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And please continue to pray for me, that I may be bolder and braver in the face of persecution and violence.
God bless you all, dear readers, and goodnight...
(you know... it's after night's like this that the words of the Apostle John sound so sweet to me:
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus
." (Revelation 22:20)
Thursday, November 10, 2005
free will or free agent?
I've touched on this matter in my series on Calvinism
, but I thought it would be profitable for you, dear readers, to go a little deeper.
These quotes are taken from our Wednesday night studies on Biblical doctrine. Consider them carefully. For the most part, I believe they are "bang-on", but these matters are REAL DEEP, so take your time, and please let me know what you think.
(btw, all you non-Calvinists reading this, I am very interested in your take as well
)"Freedom in man does not imply exemption from the operation of influences, motives, heredity, environment. It means rather that man is not under compulsion. His actions are in the last resort determined from within. He is self-determined in what he does. Some hold that freedom in man means ability to transcend himself and act contrary to his character. (This is the erroneous sense of free will, as believed by all Pelagians and Arminians, and as opposed by Luther and many others.) The will is thus regarded, not as an expression of what the man is in his essential character. It is free in the sense of being capable of choices unrelated to past choices, acquired traits, and hereditary tendencies. This is an untenable view of freedom. It makes the will a mere external attachment to man’s nature rather than an expression thereof. Freedom excludes compulsion from without, it also excludes mere caprice and arbitrariness. Freedom is self-determinative" (E. Y. Mullins)"God is self-determined. So is man, and at all times. God always acts according to His choice; He does as He pleases (Ps. 135:6; Isa. 46:10). So also does man. God cannot transcend Himself and act contrary to His character. Neither can man. God is ever determined to good. Natural man is ever determined to that which is spiritually evil. A regenerated man is determined, in the main, to that which is good. When he commits evil, he is, for the moment determined to evil. The will of God is never compelled or restrained by anything outside His own nature. The same is true of man. God never acts capriciously or arbitrarily, that is, without sufficient cause. Neither does man." (T.P. Simmons)"The position of God’s will, and the nature and laws of its action, are the same as in the case of man’s will. Each is subject to the nature of its possessor. Both express the nature of their possessors in view of motives. Both man and God are free at all times to act out their most dominant desires and inclinations." (T.P. Simmons)"Man cannot do otherwise than continue in sin so long as he is in his natural state (Jer. 17:9; Prov. 4:23; Job 14:4; Jer. 13:23; John 6:65; Rom. 8:7, 8; 1 Cor. 2:14). But his continuance in sin is not due to outside compulsion or restraint, but to his own character which causes him to choose darkness rather than light (John 3:19). He continues in sin for the same reason that a hog wallows in the mire. He continues in sin for the same reason that God continues in holiness. Thus he is fully a free agent." (T.P. Simmons)"In the hardening and blinding of sinners, which is unmistakably attributed to God in the Scripture (Rom. 9:18; John 12:40), there is no outside force brought to bear upon the will of the sinner. While God is said to blind and to harden the sinner, the sinner is said to blind and harden himself. John 12:40 is a quotation from Isa. 6:10, where the prophet Isaiah is commanded to shut the eyes of the people. Then in Matt. 13:14,15 there is another free quotation from this same prophecy, and in Matthew the sinners are said to have closed their own eyes. Then, still again, in 2 Cor. 4:3,4, we have the blinding of sinners attributed to the devil. All of these passages refer to the same thing, and all of them are true because they are in the Word of God. We have the blinding of sinners attributed to God, to the devil, to the prophet, and to the sinners themselves. It is ours to find, if we can, the harmony between these statements. Here it is: The blinding is attributed to God because He decreed, whether permissively or efficiently, all the circumstances that render the sinner blind. The blinding is attributed to the devil because he is the author of sin by which the sinner is blinded. The same blinding is attributed to the prophet because his preaching of the Word brings out and makes the blindness of the sinner active in his rejection of the Word. Then, finally, the blinding is attributed to the sinner himself because he loves darkness rather than light, and manifests his choice of darkness by rejecting the Word. This leaves the natural man a free agent. If God, or the devil or the prophet, by a power outside of the nature of the sinner, could compel the sinner against his choice to reject the Word, the sinner would no longer be a free agent, and he would be no longer responsible for his unbelief. Responsibility and free agency go hand in hand. (T.P. Simmons)
Complicated, and definitely fits Peter's "things hard to be understood" (2 Peter 3:16), but in the end, if it's in Scripture, it's IMPORTANT.
Study hard, students of the Word.
Monday, November 07, 2005
a whole lot of mileage!!!
We just got back from my in-laws, where we celebrated my eldest son's 5th birthday. The kids had a blast and my wife got to spend some time with her family, so it was a good weekend.
Just prior to my weekend get-away with my family, I was in Boston, Massachusetts for a training course. It was my job to get a closer look at an instrument my boss is considering for our lab. The instrument performed well, so my report will be favorable.
While in Boston, it most certainly wasn't "all-work-and-no-play"!!! No, no. As I mentioned to you in my last post, I went out and had coffee with Michael Gallaugher of Christian Conservative
. Just by reading his blog, I became a real fan of Michael, so I have to admit I was afraid of being disappointed by the "real" man. Well, I'm glad to report that Michael didn't disappoint! We both shared our testimonies and talked about life, the galaxy and everything, over a cup of coffee and tea. It was a great, albeit far too short, time.
Anyway, before saying goodbye, I did get this little video clip of Michael and I shaking hands
, complete with a famous "Don Cherry thumbs-up
" at the end (LOL)
That's it for now, got to get some sleep... it's back to work tomorrow.
Going to Mass.!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
hee! hee! hee!
No, I haven't gone Romanist (LOL
). Tomorrow afternoon, I will be on a flight to Boston, Massachusetts on a business trip, and great news! I will be meeting, face to face, Michael Gallaugher, my brother-in-the-Lord and owner of the Christian Conservative
blog. If you don't know Michael, then go check his blog, it's really good. I'll let you all know how our visit went soon after I get back.
"They" are really putting a lot of mileage on old Rand this week and weekend. After my trip to Boston, I am jumping in my van and driving my family 7 hours the opposite way to visit my in-laws. Tomorrow is my son's birthday, so we got a party prepared for him this weekend (so much to do, so little time
Please pray for travel mercies for my family and I and do take care, dear readers. I'll post whenever I can. You all behave now!