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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


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!

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.