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Monday, January 30, 2017

Lordship Salvation Controversy - With A Twist

Sometimes I have trouble coming up with things to post on my blog, but then a conversation I have online brings up issues that I think are worth sharing.

This is one of those times.

There are still those out there who try to condemn Lordship salvation, although many have shifted away from that.

I remember way back when I was 17 and at a missionary school (that I dropped out of after a few weeks).
The evangelism leader did not want us to bring up Lordship when we were going to go out and evangelize on a college campus.
I spoke up for Lordship, because I didn't feel that I could do that (not talk about Lordship).
Yes,  I didn't feel I did well when I did actually go out that one time in actually saying a lot (we didn't stay that long and I'm normally shy).
Still, in the group, I opened my mouth and rambled about the two kinds of Lordship.

I remember hearing people discussing Lordship with each other after the group meeting....not with me.

Well, today, someone brought up this issue again, only this time it's calling MacArthur a synergist.

I'm sorry that it's hard to read, but I can't figure out how to change the color with the embedded comment.

One of my responses (edited only for typing mistakes) to Tim Irvin (after he also shared a video with snippets & some preaching that someone had put together to refute John MacArthur):

I used to go to Grace Community Church, and MacArthur is sound Biblically.
Anybody can try to twist what someone says by snippets.

And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3 NASB

John MacArthur doesn't believe in salvation by works. Trust me on this. He believes salvation is from above. The rich young ruler did not obey, because he did not have true faith. True faith will obey & submit to God. If a person does not submit, then it is evidence that they don't have faith.

“And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46 NASB

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22 NASB

MacArthur is not Roman Catholic.
He believers in imputation, and he does NOT believe works are meritorious for salvation.

This is from one of MacArthur's books: "Both James and Paul view good works as the proof of faith—not the path to salvation."
I hope people will read it.


Another comment I made in response to the synergism accusation:
The new birth is also a monergistic operation, which means God’s Spirit alone accomplishes it (as opposed to synergistic, which means that human effort participates in the process). - John MacArthur
Sin & The Work of The Spirit
I also shared separate links that you may want to read.

An Introduction To Lordship Salvation - GTY

Justification and Sanctification How do they Differ? by J.C. Ryle

Fruits of Repentance - GTY

And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
1 John 3:23-24 ESV

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wages Earned Or A Free Gift?

Many people in the world today believe that salvation is by grace, but then they think that their own works somehow keep them saved or helps in the saving of them.
They take certain passages of Scripture to support their views, but they ignore Ephesians 2:8-9 & Romans 3 and many other passages which refute their understanding.

Today I was reading Romans 6, and the more I read the more sola fide jumped out at me.
It's been 500 years since the commonly accepted beginning of the Reformation (although it really started before that).
Much like the Judaizers and Pharisees, the Roman Catholic Church put burdens and rules on people that were not found in Scripture.

Today, Romans 3:23 really struck me in a different way than usual.
I thought about how it relates to the rest of what I've been reading, and I also related it to the conversations I've had online.
The difference between what they hold to and what the Bible says is striking.  
So is the difference between how the unbeliever and believer receives their eternal outcome.

Death is earned by the unbeliever.  All of us are slaves being born into sin, but we also earn death as sinners ourselves...all of us.
We are all born that way.
There is none who seeks after God.  All sin.
God's justice and wrath against sin is justly deserved by all.
The believer does not earn eternal life at all.  It is a FREE gift.
It is not a wage of good deeds.  It is not earned at all.  It is all of grace.

So, why the confusion?  Well, a believer will serve Christ as a freed person...freed to be a slave to Christ.
This is not freedom to earn favor with God to somehow help save ourselves.
It is because God has gifted the believer with a faith that desires to obey.
It all starts with the faith and freedom given by Christ.
So, the living working faith that justifies, is not something that we can muster up to help ourselves be saved.
As said before, it is a gift of God.  The believer is born from above.
Someone who is dead in sin will not seek God apart from God's Spirit.
Even as a believer, it is God who is at work in me both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).

God prepared good works for the believer to walk in,  and a Christian will be known by the fruit he or she bears through the power of the Spirit.  God uses His Word and trials to change us.
It is by His Spirit that we can obey, and it is the work of God that saves.
A living faith is demonstrated by an obedient life, but the Christian is Christ's workmanship...not our own (Ephesians 2:10).

This doesn't mean that a believer can or will achieve a sinless life here on earth, but Christ's righteousness is imputed (2 Corinthians 5:21; to the believer entirely apart from works.
We cannot add to the death of Christ (Hebrews 10:10), and we cannot add to the life He gives.
Yet, if there is no change in us when we have claimed to believe, then it may be that we are not genuine.
So, as a Christian, I'm positionally righteous, while I still must fight the good fight of faith.
I can't lose salvation, because genuine faith is a gift and work of God entirely.
Good deeds should never be an attempt to keep myself in the faith.
They should be an outworking of what God is doing in me.

It's like this....
You can't make fools gold into gold by trying to refine it.
You can wash it or paint it.  You can put it in a fancy setting to dress it up.
It will be a waste of time, but it might look good for a time.
Like doing good works to earn favor with God, if it isn't genuine faith to start with...  your good works will be a waste of time.
If you think any of it is of you, then you are wasting your time.
Only God can take a worthless stone and change it into gold.

Read more about the FREE GIFT Here.

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Romans 3:28 NASB

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hymns, Theology, & Conferences • Excitement Building

Want to hear some "Calvinistic" hymns?
How about hymns sung at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA?

Are you waiting for the systematic Theology book on doctrine that MacArthur had a part in writing? 
It's scheduled to be released on Amazon on January 31, 2017. 
Reportedly it's already available for those who live close to the church.
Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth

The Character of Godly Contentment ...this message given by Mike Riccardi was exceptional.
If only I would love and value Christ more!

Are you waiting to hear the G3 Sessions?  I watched a number of sessions live-streaming.
They are making them available on Apps first.
G3 Apps Announcement 
UPDATE:  You can find the G3 Conference videos HERE.

Lastly, don't forget the Shepherds' Conference is coming up!  
I hope to be able to live-stream it again this year.  
A number of my Twitter friends will be there.
Also, there are those of us who watch and tweet together online.  
Don't miss out!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Coming Home - Prayer Request Update

On December 24th, 2016 my Dad went into the hospital.
This morning, January 25th, 2017, he is supposed to come home from a nursing facility.
He still has a life vest, and he needs pureed food.
He will need home health care.
He has been able to walk with a walker at times, but he has low blood pressure with exercise.
We are nervous and excited, and I'm not sure that we are prepared enough!
It has been a long stressful time - what with us first having the flu, and now a cold virus is in the house (which came from the nursing home).
I've also been having other issues going on for me and other family members, so it's really been tough.
I wish that I would trust God enough to be at peace, but I'm thankful that God has mercy and grace for those of us who are weak.
I continue to cry out to Him when I feel I can't endure.

I am thankful for the prayers of the saints.
There will be hurdles and difficulties, so I hope that you will continue to pray!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Message For Strangers

You never know who you might end up communicating with on social media.
Some people may think that it is not worth your time to engage in conversations on social media.
There are many hardened people you will find online, and they are more blatant in their depravity.
Some think that the internet is just a virtual world, yet they do not realize that behind bold personas, there are often genuine people who may be lost sheep.  God is not limited to your view of the internet.

Yes, I believe that God can use social media just as well as in person communication.
After all, Paul wrote a lot of letters inspired by God.  What I write is not inspired by God (unless I'm quoting actual Scripture that has already been handed down), but I do believe the written or typed word is just as valid as the spoken word.

Lately, I had the opportunity to communicate the Gospel to someone supporting abortion, and today to someone who it seems is a homosexual.
In times past, I've had opportunities to communicate with Muslims, and the list could go on.
I'm a nobody, but if God could give me opportunities...He could give many others opportunities to attempt to give the Gospel to those we might never have the opportunity to meet in person!
Please don't limit your world to face to face only.
For those of us with disabilities, it may be that we know people best through online communication.
Yes, there are positive aspects to "in person" meetings and relationships, but we shouldn't discount those we bump into or get to know online.  Sure, they could be a fake.  I've experienced those, but for all the phonies, there are those who actually are no different than those you will meet face to face.

Here is an example of a recent response I gave...slightly someone on Facebook..  
I hope that it might motivate you to reach out in whatever sphere God has given you!

Only Christ was without sin. Everyone born today is a sinner by nature. It is because mankind had rebelled against God that they have been given over to all kinds of sins. One of those sins happens to be having unnatural relationships with people burning in desire for those of the same gender. Physically it is not natural, and it is not healthy either physically or emotionally as well as spiritually. There are many types of sin, and we are all guilty before God deserving eternal judgment in Hell. Yet, God in His mercy, sent His Son to die for those who were yet enemies, so that they could be reconciled to God as adopted children. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life that we could not. He willingly went to the cross to die a death He didn't deserve...taking God's wrath for sins He didn't commit, in order that those who repent & trust in Him would be forgiven and have eternal life. He rose from the grave in 3 days, and He is now with the Father. He sent His Spirit to indwell those who believe on His name. I urge you to repent and turn to Christ for eternal life.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Don't Assume

How we act shouldn't be determined by what we think that others are thinking.

Hate is not simply a white issue. It's a human sin issue. 
Sometimes I think that people are aiding the prejudices of non-white people by excusing their prejudice and anger as being justified. 
We-they mentalities are not good no matter what shade you are...white, black, brown, and other variations of melanin pigmentation.
Cultural differences do exist, but we don't have to be clones.

Sadly, police officers have been thrown under the bus by many "Christian" leaders and others.
In their haste to be understanding, they are actually encouraging sinful attitudes.
Christians, of all people, should understand that all people are created in God's image.
We are taught to love even our enemies.
The police are no worse than others, and we as Christians are to respect authority.

So, maybe you've had some bad experiences with someone in a uniform or with a different shade of skin. Yeah,  those can happen.
It takes time to get over those, but we must still remember to not assume that everyone is the same (though I know it can be hard). 
Remember that it wasn't everybody of that shade of skin or that particular uniform that did something wrong or seemed rude or mean to you. 
People are responsible for their own sins or bad judgment, and it could just as well have been someone with the same shade of skin as you or without any uniform. 
It could also be that your preconceived ideas perceived malice that was not actually there.
The police are taught not to voice their feelings or sympathy, but that doesn't mean that they don't care.
We can't read minds as well as we think we can!

You who do not like it when people assume the worst about you, do you do the same to others?

Friday, January 6, 2017

Free Reformation Course, Conferences, & Church Resource

The Master's Seminary is allowing people to watch a series by Dr. Carl Trueman on the Reformation which is scheduled to be live-streaming for free January 10-14, 2017!

Time: 11 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern / 8 AM to 1:30 PM Pacific - Tuesday through Saturday - January 10-14.

There is an interesting resource for the church coming out soon.
I can't vouch for the whole thing - not having seen it yet, but you might want to check into it!

More Upcoming Conferences!
What with the G3 Conference & The Shepherds' Conference coming up, I think that people are going to have a lot to listen to in the coming months!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Though The Darkness Comes, He Is Faithful

Why the silence?
This may not be a complete narrative, but it will give you an idea what we've been going through during this pause between blog posts.
On December 24th, my Dad was trying to walk down the hall.
He was miserably sick, and he was trying to use a walker.
He couldn't keep up with it with his legs, and so eventually ended up on the floor.
The advice nurse was called and then 911.
The men who came thought we only wanted him off the ground, but we knew he needed to go to the hospital (though he didn't want to go).  He had tried to get up.
He was in ICU (with a positive flu test), and then he was sent down to lower care which was not that good.
He ended up back in ICU, and we learned that his numbers indicated a heart attack (after midnight one night). He was having trouble breathing, and his heart was racing.
They asked my Mom if she wanted them to continue.
What a question!  Of course, she did.
We all were sick with the flu.
We barely could get ourselves soup and other food.  I was in survival mode.
It was like a nightmare.  I did get help from reading and listening to music some.
I wrote down times we needed to take medicine to keep the fever down.
I had set up baggies of pills for each of us before I had gotten the worst of it.

The heart doctor took a number of days to get information about my Dad's heart for us.
They said his heart attack was before he came there.  His heart output is not what they want.
Well, people were improving enough to visit him finally, and now he is back at the lower level of care (though he has pneumonia and congestive heart failure).
His flu is gone.
He probably needs a stent, but they are giving him a new kind of heart medicine that has been helping.
They want him to have a life vest, and they want him to go to a skilled nursing place to build up strength.  
If that works out, perhaps they will do an angiogram and a stent.

So far, the places we wanted him to go have not worked out, so we must trust God to work things out.
My Dad is coughing a lot and having trouble swallowing, but he has been improving some in other ways little by little.  He was able to walk a short distance with a walker today he said.

I myself have been having fevers continuing, but today I learned that the flu isn't there for me now.
I have something else going on that is making me feel crummy.
This has been a very hard time for us, and there have been times I have felt I couldn't endure.
Yet, I keep looking to God to be my help.
My own body seems to be falling apart, and I have difficulty thinking at times.
Still, I know God is trustworthy, and He doesn't lie in His Word.
He does love us.  He is faithful.  He will never leave us.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness, and we can hide under the shadow of His wings.
Thank you to those who have prayed, and we would appreciate continued prayer through this stressful time.
I'm not strong, and we don't have a lot of support here.
Still, God is making sure that we depend on Him.  We have no other option!

God has been at work through His Word, through songs He has used, through a Spurgeon devotional, through a message I heard live-streaming Sunday (and listened to part of it again tonight).
He is working through the prayers of His saints, and He is working even through my Dad.
My Dad has even been praying for us.

When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
Psalm 37:24 NASB