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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dangers of Inclusivism & When Does Regeneration Take Place?

After thinking, researching and listening to things regarding two issues, I want to share some conclusions that I've come to.  This is coming from a female writer who does not want to sinfully instruct men.  This is not meant to be authoritative so much as an opinion piece after researching Scripture and other online resources.

Issue One:  When does regeneration take place?  Does it take place right before belief, or can it happen to a baby who doesn't know the Gospel?
Regeneration by definition seems to refer to the new birth of when someone is spiritually transformed from death to life.
There are verses that seem to put this together with the renewing of or being born of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6; John 3:3-8) and that the preaching of the Word of God is involved as the seed used (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18; Romans 10:17). 
I do not believe that a person could be regenerated years before they actually repent and believe the Gospel except if you are just referring to the future plan of God and His view of what will be as already accomplished.  The idea of years between regeneration rather than immediately before belief would make no sense, since by definition regeneration is a new birth as well as it seems to imply a change of heart .

This leads me to my the other issue that started me off down this path.  I was listening to the Cross Conference and heard Kevin DeYoung mention that there are some Calvinists who believe in inclusivism.  Certainly that is not the majority of us, but I wanted to investigate the subject because of my grave concern after reading in the past someone suggesting that somebody's infant could already be regenerated.  Now, I'm not saying that some people can't hear the Gospel and be saved at a young age, but without a profession of faith there is no reason to think that a baby has had a spiritual birth.  Doubly so when they have not heard the Gospel from anyone.

Many years ago I heard someone who thought that perhaps someone could be saved only responding to what they knew of God (probably thinking of creation) without hearing the Gospel.  Well, that is a dangerous fantasy, and the Bible makes it clear that faith comes by hearing (the Word of Christ - Romans 10:17).  So, while it might make somebody feel good, we have to stick with what we know of Scripture and the truth and not feelings.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  John 14:6 NASB

Fairness would be that we would all face God's just wrath, because we rebel against and suppress the truth that we do know. 
I do believe that every person that God has chosen will be regenerated and repent, so in one sense His salvation work is completed by His divine plan and summoning.  This is accomplished though by the means He decrees which is through the proclamation of the Gospel, His regenerating and sanctifying work, His death and resurrection (satisfying of His just wrath against sin), mercy, grace, and the people that He sends out to be disciple makers in the world.

Inclusivism has also been taught by Catholics, Billy Graham, and many others who stray from Scripture to varying degrees...from unbelievers, heretics, and confused Christians.  It is dangerous!
 


"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."  Acts 4:12 NASB

 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas & Free Bibles & Tracts for Financially Struggling

MERRY CHRISTMAS!



Cross Encounters is offering a FREE BIBLE, GOSPEL of JOHN, & FREE GOSPEL TRACTS for those who cannot afford them (U.S. & Canada).
Please no cheaters!  http://crossencountersmin.com/free-tracts-bibles/

Monday, December 16, 2013

Live-Stream Christmas Concert 12/22/13, The Gospel For Twitter, Should She Preach Book Review by Me & Medical Update

Grace Community Church Live-Streamed Christmas concert update:  It has been announced online that the Sunday evening Christmas concert will be the one streamed online on December 22, 2013.  If you can watch it, it should be a treat.  It begins at 6 PM Pacific time, 8 PM Central U.S. time, 9 PM Eastern time, and 2 AM Monday morning in the U.K.  If you live somewhere else, you can look up time differences online. If you cannot watch it live, you won't have to miss out!  They are going to play the recorded concert on the hour every other hour from December 23-31!!!
On the night of the concert or up until December 31, just visit the following link to watch it!
http://www.gracechurch.org/live/
Grace Community Church's senior pastor is John MacArthur.  Performers may include Jubilant Sykes, Christopher Parkening, Diane Brown, etc.

Cross Encounters New Ministry site:  Tony Miano who is an evangelist that I listen to weekly has a new website resource for evangelism. 
Some of the site's exciting features are:

The Gospel For Twitter

Classic Sermons Shop

Open Air Quick Tips & More!

Should She Preach - Biblical Evangelism for Women - I wrote a review of this book not too long ago.  I wish I had written my review concurrently with my reading time, because my impressions of the first part would have been fresher.  I do recommend the book!  It is both Biblical and practical.  The interviews with the pastors were fascinating to me.  You can read my review here.

Quick Personal Update:  Lord-willing on Thursday I will be having a biopsy surgery during which I will be put to sleep.  I'm hoping I will be able to get it over with, even though I am not feeling well now.  Having dysautonomia makes this extra stressful for me, so I would appreciate Christians praying for me.  Next month I am scheduled to go to Vanderbilt University for tests and evaluation by a neurologist who specializes in dysautonomia.  Please keep my family in your prayers, and I wish you all a wonderful Christmas remembering the Savior who was born to die for the sins of everyone who would ever believe.  God planned every bit of it, and He is still Sovereign today even over my trials.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christian Killed in Benghazi & 9 Year Old Girl Sings "One Small Child" by David Meece

In Benghazi a Christian teacher from the U.S. was recently murdered (shot while jogging).  Ronnie Smith was an admirer of John Piper (who is known for encouraging people to take risks for the sake of the Gospel).   Ronnie's family was in the U.S. at the time, so I hope that Christians will pray for his wife and kids at this time.

My Dad used to give away Piper's message "Prayer the Work of Missions" and maybe one other, and although that does not have to do with Ronnie Smith in particular that I'm aware of, it is interesting to know that a message by Piper was used in motivating this guy to go.  John Piper in his blog encourages thousands of Christians to take Ronnie's place.

Piper writes in his blog:

"Finally, I call thousands of you to take Ronnie’s place. They will not kill us fast enough. Let the replacements flood the world."

Does that sound crazy to you? 
Now you will want to see the rest of the story from Piper's blog.
Click Here.

I have not shared as many Christmas songs this year, but those who have followed my blog know I enjoy sharing music videos.

"One Small Child" was a Christmas song written by David Meece at the age of 14.  Yes, when you listen you may be thinking about the facts that the wise men didn't show up for a long time after Jesus' birth and that we don't know that they were kings (so I'm not saying the lyrics are perfect).  The lyrics are here.

I think I remember from an interview that David Meece was not yet a believer when he wrote this particular song.  He did become a Christian later though, and many of us have enjoyed much of his music over the years.

The following cover version is not professional and not as good as David Meece himself, but I thought it was cute and natural sounding with a young 9 year old girl named Sage (now 11 years old) singing the song.  Enjoy!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Live Christmas Concert, Almost Christmas, Perfectionism, Classic Audio Sermons

Live -Streamed Christmas Concert(s) - Grace Community Church where John MacArthur is pastor holds superb Christmas concerts each year.  Some of you may remember my sharing Jubilant Sykes singing "Mary, Did You Know?" on my blog in the past.  Well, once again they are planning to share one or more live concerts online.  The exact date of the live broadcast has not been shared yet, but you can visit the following link to keep checking. 
Grace Community Church Christmas Concert


"Almost Christmas" - Speaking of Christmas, remember Josh Wilson's Noel Christmas album?
Well, this song is lighthearted and may get you in the mood  for celebrating.
 


Exposing Perfectionism - This post really pegs me in a lot of ways.
It isn't a pleasant picture.  Oh, I don't consider myself a perfectionist in every area of my life, but in far too much.  There is an element of discontent with perfectionism as well, and unfortunately it can spill over into the way I treat others.  It's one thing to try to do your best, but not being satisfied with what is done can make life miserable.   Does anybody else find that this describes you as well?

Classic Sermons -  Tony Miano of Cross Encounters is working on recording some great sermons by dead people.  Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon are some of the first ones that he's tackling.  Be sure to watch out also for his new website around Christmas!
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Don't Forget Prayer

You may know that my Dad used to produce Global Minute radio spots to get people to pray for, go & give to missions....especially for the unreached peoples of the world.   The spots were heard on a lot of stations around the country as public service announcements.  The name of the organization was the Mission Vision Network. 

My sister & I also helped out in various ways (computer work, writing, labeling, stuffing envelopes, even to helping be voices on one Christmas Panorama spot), so I still have an interest in missions when I hear about or read things that touch on that.  After all, proclaiming the Gospel is the mission of the church and a great deal of why I believe we are still here on earth. 

So many people (including Christians) are excited these days about movies out in the theater, shopping, music concerts, and about the people immediately around them.  Others are struggling with health issues, depression, difficult relationships, or political issues. 
It is easy to forget that there are many people out there who still do not even have the Gospel in their language. 
Sure, there are people who have access to Bibles who never read them and seek wisdom from the world and false teachers. 
These people certainly need the Gospel as much as those in tribes and other countries, but I was recently encouraged by a video to pray for workers once again for those who have yet to hear.

Although there is little I can do these days physically (as I am not doing well and can't get out much), I can still pray for people even though the noise in my head and my dizziness and headaches make it hard to think to pray sometimes.
I know God hears me....and He can hear all true Christians.
I hope the video will encourage you.
If you are interested in the conference, it is December 27-30, 2013 mostly for students ages 18-25.  Click here to read more.

Please check out the people group of the day beneath the video.


#PrayForWorkers from CROSS on Vimeo.