Some For Whom Christ Died Will Be Lost, Therefore Salvation Must Be Conditional

July 18, 2019

The following passages prove some for whom Christ died will be lost:

I Cor 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

Rom 14:15,23 … if thy brother be grieved … Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. … he that doubteth is d-a-m-n-e-d if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

II Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in d‑a‑m‑n‑a‑b‑l‑e heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

The Calvinist has two options:

· either Christ died for more than just the elect (the “limited atonement” theory is false)

· or some of the elect can be lost

The point is that since some of those Christ died for will be lost, that shows more have the opportunity to be saved than take advantage of that opportunity. This proves that we have a say in the final determination of our election/salvation; it is conditioned upon something we do – whether or not we trust and obey (II Thess 1:8).

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Baptists Are Playing Games With The Word Of God

July 11, 2019

Aren’t Baptists playing games with the word of God? Let me give two illustrations of what I am talking about …

Baptists quote passages like John 3:16 to prove a sinner doesn’t have to be baptized to be saved. Their reasoning is that the verse talks about what a sinner must do to be saved, and it doesn’t mention baptism. But the standard Baptist position is that a sinner also has to repent (Luke 13:3, etc) and confess (Rom 10:9-10) in order to be saved, and those two conditions are not mentioned in John 3:16 either. Isn’t that being inconsistent? Why does John 3:16 rule out baptism as necessary because baptism is not mentioned there, but John 3:16 does not rule out repentance and confession as necessary because repentance and confession are not mentioned there either? If we can go to passages other than John 3:16 to find out repentance and confession are necessary, then why can’t we similarly go to passages other than John 3:16 to find out baptism is necessary – like Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, and I Pet 3:21? Matt 4:4 (“Man shall … by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”) is true in either case, right?

Baptists have always used Rom 6:3-5 to prove to Methodists that water baptism should be an immersion in water because the passage calls it a “burial” and teaches it is a likeness of the burial and resurrection of Christ. Their point is correct – sprinkling for baptism is not a burial in water, neither does it picture a burial and resurrection. But when the Baptists are arguing that water baptism is not necessary to salvation, they will say Rom 6:3-5 is talking about Holy Spirit Baptism, because they know the text says we are baptized “into Christ” and “into His death.” How can Rom 6:3-5 be talking about water baptism when we are debating the action/mode of baptism but be talking about Holy Spirit baptism when we are debating the purpose of baptism?

See what I mean?

Is I Cor 11:3 Only Talking About Husbands And Wives?

July 4, 2019

I Corinthians 11:3 says “the head of the woman is the man.” Is that only saying a husband is the head over his wife, or is it saying that women are to be in submission to men in general (not just their husbands)?

The fact that I Cor 11:3 reads “man” and “woman” (not “husband” and “wife) should be our first clue the verse is teaching men in general are head of women in general, not husbands are over their wives in particular (which is taught in Eph 5:22-24). Why did the translators choose to render I Cor 11:3 that way? Evidently because of the context (as the Greek could go either way). Consider the following contextual points …

If I Cor 11:3 is only talking about husbands and wives, then:

· Christ is only the head of husbands, not single men (verse 3) – Note:The ESV translation has “the head of a wife is her husband” but the translators realize this problem so they inconsistently translate the earlier phrase “the head of every man is Christ.” Either both should be translated husband or both man. You can’t have it both ways.

· only husbands (not single men) must be uncovered when they pray (verses 4,7)

· only wives (not single ladies) must be covered when they pray (verses 5,6,10,13)

· it is only a shame for wives to be shorn or shaven (verse 6), not single ladies

· only husbands (not all men) are made in the image and glory of God (verse 7)

· only wives (not all women) are the glory of man (verse 7)

· husbands are born of their wife, not their mother (verse 12b)

· it is only shameful for a husband to have long hair (verse 14), not a single man

· it is only a glory for a wife to have long hair (verse 15), not a single woman

· hair is given for a covering only to wives (verse 15), not single women

The fact that I Cor 11:3 is teaching men in general have headship over women in general is confirmed by I Tim 2:11-12 which teaches the same thing … unless one thinks I Tim 2:11-12 is only talking about husbands and wives also? – in which case it would be scriptural for a woman to lead a Bible study or lead a prayer over men, as long as the audience didn’t include her husband.

Could Jesus Have Sinned? – Isaiah 7:14-15

June 27, 2019

Some say it was impossible for Jesus to have sinned, but consider Isaiah 7:14-15 – “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Matt 1:21-23 confirms Isaiah 7:14-15 is a prophecy regarding the promised Messiah.

Our text affirms the coming virgin born son will “refuse the evil, and choose the good.” This phrase indicates the possibility of the Christ choosing evil (he “refused” evil, not that evil wasn’t available to him), else His choice of good wouldn’t actually be a choice, but set in concrete before he was born. This passage states the truth succinctly on this question – that Jesus chose to do good, not that He was forced to do good.

The fact that Jesus could have sinned (being tempted as we are – Heb 4:15) , but lived a whole 33 years without committing even one sin, is (in my opinion) the greatest accomplishment in the history of the world. Teaching that Jesus couldn’t have sinned nullifies that most magnificent accomplishment.

Preacher Peer Pressure

June 20, 2019

Many Christians judge how good a preacher is by his speaking ability, or good looks, or something else trivial, but how many judge a good preacher by whether or not he is willing to hold to his convictions under pressure? We sometimes use I Cor 15:33 (“Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals” – ASV) to warn our youth against moral peer pressure, and rightfully so. Well there is immense “peer pressure” for a “preacher” (and even regular Christians for that matter) to take the mainline position of their particular segment of the brotherhood on issues there is disagreement on. It is very similar to peer pressure among teenagers; preachers don’t want to seem odd to other brethren (many times their salary depends upon not seeming odd), so they conform to the majority view. And just like with peer pressure among youth, sometimes Bible teachers don’t even realize brotherhood peer pressure is the underlying reason they are doing it.

Let me illustrate with some of my observations through the years …

Matt 6:24 reads “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (money), but I remember a preacher who told me privately he did not know what he believed about the Homer Hailey divorce and remarriage position back in 1990 when the NI brotherhood was at a juncture where it wasn’t known what side of that issue the majority was going to take. He evidently decided his position after finding out which way the wind was blowing.

John 12:42-43 demonstrates how we must stand for the truth even if we lose our position in church because of our stand, but I witnessed a case about twenty years ago where a preacher was real strong against a practice while he was in a private meeting with a close friend and mentor who took that side of the issue, but ceased all opposition to the practice in a follow-up meeting when that old friend was not there and the majority there felt the other way.

Matt 10:37 says “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me,” but I know a preacher who is very well respected in the brotherhood, and even does a good job with divorce and remarriage topics as a general rule, but he couldn’t see that his sister in the flesh was in sin when she left her husband admittedly without scriptural cause (I Cor 7:10,3-5).

Along the same lines, I knew a very well respected older brother in Christ who opposes Mental Divorce (Luke 16:18), but several years ago was not willing to make that stand when a relative took the position.

Still speaking of Mental Divorce, I knew a well respected preacher who stood for the truth on that issue, but he and the congregation he was with could not see such a case in their own midst. Sometimes it is easy to stand for the truth as long as that stand doesn’t affect me (Matt 10:34), as long as the problem is somewhere else.

Several years ago, a younger brother in Christ asked me to debate a denominational preacher that had challenged his beliefs, but when the debate happened, the younger brother was pressured into not attending by his local preacher. This in spite of the fact that God shows His approval many times over for such type Bible studies, for example, see Acts 19:8-10.

And I spoke with one of our most popular meeting preachers years ago because it seemed he would never preach on issues in which he believed something different than his audiences. Suffice it to say he was not willing to change his practice based upon my admonition. His way is a sure way to keep getting further opportunities, but Luke 6:26 says “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

Conclusion: It is easy to stand for the truth when that stand doesn’t cause any personal sacrifice on our part (Luke 14:33).

The Jews Were Expecting The Wrong Kind Of Saviour

June 13, 2019

The Jews were expecting a physical saviour, one that would lead them in military battle out of Roman subjection …

John 6:15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

Luke 24:20-21 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

But that is not what Jesus came to be/do. Instead Jesus came to be king of a spiritual kingdom …

Luke 17:20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

And that spiritual kingdom is in existence today …

Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

I Cor 15:24-25 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Acts 2:30-31 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

How Does God Give Faith, Thru Force Or Thru Means?

June 6, 2019

The following passages prove God does not give us faith is the sense that He forces us to believe (as the Calvinists say):

· Matt 23:37 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!

· Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

· Matt 13:15 … and their eyes they have closed …

· Acts 16:30-31 … Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved … [God doesn’t do the believing for us]

God does “deal” faith to men (Rom 12:3), but only in the same sense that He grants repentance to men (Acts 11:18) – in the sense that he leads men to repent (Rom 2:4). God does not force faith upon men; He would be a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) if He gave faith to one and not all. Instead He leads men to believe through His word (Rom 10:17). God gives faith in the same way He gives us our daily bread (Matt 6:11) – not miraculously thru raining down manna from heaven, but through means (our jobs). Likewise the way God gives us faith is not through miraculous force, but through the means of the gospel (Rom 1:16) – divine persuasion.

Does The Bible Teach Unconditional Election, Or Does God Want ALL Men To Be Saved?

May 30, 2019

God’s desire is for all to be saved, implying that all have the opportunity to be saved, which shows the particular (by name) forced unconditional predestination/election theory is false.

II Peter 3:9: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.

I Timothy 2:4: Who (God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Who is the “all” in I Timothy 2:1-6?

• verse 1 – Should we pray for “all men” or just the elect?

• verse 2 – If “all men” of verse 1 is just “all the elect,” then that would mean all rulers without exception (“kings, and … all that are in authority”), including Hitler, are of the saved/elect.

Since God wants all men to be saved, but all men will not be (Matt 25:46), it necessarily follows that salvation is conditioned upon what a man does. Meaning, men choose to be, or not to be of the elect.


May 22, 2019

Have you ever asked someone for something or to do something for you, and they said they would like to think about it for some reason or another, and then they never get back to you with an answer? That is frustrating, and shows a lack of integrity of the part of the one who evidently was just making an excuse. But what exactly does “integrity” mean? It is kind of hard to define, but I think we know it in a person when we see it. Here are three pretty good dictionary definitions:

· steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code (The American Heritage Dictionary)

· moral soundness (WordNet – Princeton University)

· the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness (Oxford Dictionary)

The Biblical Job certainly had integrity. We read in Job 2:3 – “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” Consider these three passages encouraging integrity:

· Prov 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

· Prov 19:1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

· Prov 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Here are a few Bible traits that will characterize you if you are a person of integrity …

· always telling the truth of course, even if it might hurt someone’s feelings – Rev 21:8

· doing what you told someone you were going to do (keeping your word), or let them know why not – Rom 1:31

· willing to reveal the exact truth of a situation even when it puts you in a bad light – Exod 32:24

· owning up to something when it is your fault – Gen 4:8-9, James 5:16 (on the very first Andy Griffith Show episode, Aunt Bee admitted she accidently let Opie’s pet bird out of the cage, when she could have just as easily kept her mouth shut)

· telling someone “no” instead of just ignoring or avoiding them – II Cor 8:21, 13:7

· does the right thing even when no one is watching – Matt 23:3,5

· when people such as coworkers, neighbors, etc. always assume without hesitation that I will do the honest and “right” thing – Acts 6:3, I Pet 2:12, Eph 6:5-6

· stands the same way on issues when different types of groups of people are around – John 12:42, Prov 17:15

· when disagreeing with someone, not smoothing it over by talking only about what you agree on – Ezek 3:18, II Tim 4:2-4

· when what people think, promise, say, and do all coincide, they have integrity – Phil 4:9, Rom 2:3

· do not violate your conscience – Rom 14:23, I Cor 8:10

· consistently being true to your convictions (do not compromise principles) – Gen 20:5, Job 2:9

Here are a few practical examples of people showing integrity:

• return change if you receive too much Eph 4:28

• pay your debts Psa 37:21, Rom 13:8

• don’t seek/accept charity/handout II Thess 3:10 (except because of catastrophe, something out of your control)

• preach what is needed Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:26-27,31 – if we were to get a chance to preach at a denominational church, we would preach something they need (don’t already agree with); why not the same if we preach at a church of Christ?

• be willing to hear the other side to consider that you might be wrong Matt 13:15, Prov 18:17

• practice what you preach Matt 23:3

• don’t compromise your stand II Cor 8:21

• don’t use an argument that contradicts your position on another issue II Cor 13:7

• be willing to admit your position to someone you respect, but who disagrees with you Rom 12:17

• don’t make excuses for not doing something Luke 14:18

Back in 2005 a college football coach was convicted of drunken driving, and his athletic director put out a statement that he knew the coach as a man of “impeccable integrity.” This quote shows that some people have a misguided understanding of what integrity is.

Curtis Duncan gave me this example …

A good example of this and one that I admired for his action happened when I worked for Liberty National Life Ins Co. back in the sixties or seventies. One of my Supervisors was called on to teach an advance insurance class and one who passed would have that designation attached to his name like a nurse would who had training to be a Registered Nurse (RN). The Manager. who at that time, did not have that designation asked the teacher to give him the answers to the final test. The teacher did not give the Manager the answer sheet he had requested explaining that he was obligated to teach the class and give the required test with integrity and that to do as the Manager had requested would be dishonest. I hate to report that this teacher was then fired by the Manager.

All Christians should always act with complete integrity.

Taking A Position In Order To Help Fight False Doctrine

May 15, 2019

Many times I have seen preachers take a position on a topic or passage because they thought it would help them defeat a related false doctrine, and not actually because the merits of the case actually warranted them taking that position. First and foremost, this is an ungodly reason to take a position on a topic or passage. Truth is the truth regardless of what the consequences may be – John 8:31-32.

But quite frequently I have seen Bible teachers doing this when taking the incorrect view of a topic/passage actually hurt the cause of truth, not help it. The perfect example of this is when preachers fight the “Personal Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit” concept, the Biblical truth that all Christians even today receive a non-miraculous measure of the Spirit when they are baptized into Christ. Just a casual reading of Acts 2:38 would seem to prove this view that people today receive the Holy Ghost when they are baptized. But one gospel preacher recently wrote opposing this plain meaning understanding of Acts 2:38, in support of the view that Acts 2:38’s reference to receiving the Holy Ghost is miraculous and therefore does not apply today – “more importantly, this understanding of the statement … offers not one scintilla of support for the egregiously false blunderings of Pentecostalists and their supporters.” Do you see how this writer asserts that the “more important” reason to accept his position is that it will help us fight the false doctrine of the Pentecostals?

But this reason for taking his position on the issue boomerangs back on itself. The very opposite is true; if we take the position the “gift of the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38 refers to the miraculous measure, that actually helps the Pentecostals, not hurts them. Because the very next verse makes it perfectly clear the verse 38 promise is to every Christian for all time – “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” The phrase “unto you” refers to the Jews, “to your children” would get all Jewish descendants, “to all that are afar off” would refer to all the Gentiles (Eph 2:13,17), and “as many as the Lord our God shall call” would get all Christians for all time (II Thess 2:14). So if the “gift of the Holy Ghost” in Acts 2:38 refers to the miraculous measure of the Spirit, that would prove conclusively that people today can perform miracles, the very doctrine preachers are taking an incorrect position on Acts 2:38 to try to avoid.

In addition, if we say the “gift of the Holy Ghost” does not apply today (because it refers to the miraculous measure), then we have just opened the door wide open to the dispensationalists who say the “baptized … for the remission of sins” part of Acts 2:38 does not apply today either; that it only applied to the Jews at that time, and so baptism was at one time “for the remission of sins,” but it isn’t for that reason today. Do you see how taking an incorrect position on the personal indwelling view leads to the conclusion that baptism “for the remission of sins” was only a temporary thing, and is not valid today? If receiving the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:38 was only for that day, then the rest of the verse would logically only be for that day also.

Conclusion: What we should do is just believe what each Bible text leads us to believe, and let the chips fall where they may. Not only is that the only Godly way of learning from the scriptures, but won’t get us into trouble by helping any false teachers. Why? Because the Bible is super consistent. Trust the Bible, instead of manipulating it to try to make it consistent with our previous views.