Archive for May, 2017

We Ought To Say ‘If The Lord Will’

May 26, 2017

Instead of just assuming certain things will happen in the future, James 4:15 instructs that we “ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” Notice this verse is talking about an “ought” (requirement), not just a suggestion. And the text says we ought to say, not just that we ought to think. There’s a difference you know.

Paul made a practice of doing this very thing – actually saying “if the Lord will” (Acts 18:21, I Cor 4:19, I Cor 16:7, Heb 6:3). We should follow those approved examples, shouldn’t we (Phil 4:9)? There’s more than just one New Testament approved example you know.

When the Oneness Pentecostals incorrectly insist in debate that we must orally pronounce a “baptismal formula” over the baptismal candidate that includes the word “Jesus” (so that “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” is considered unscriptural), we respond that if they can find even one verse that tells us what the baptizer “said,” we will say and bind that. Aren’t we being disingenuous if we don’t follow through on that claim with James 4:15?

I think this would be like when our parents told us to say “You’re welcome” whenever someone said “Thank you” – they meant for it to be voiced, not just thought.  If God says we “ought to say” something, why don’t we teach we ought to say it?

If We Deny God, He Will Deny Us

May 19, 2017

II Timothy 2:12b says about God “if we deny Him, he also will deny us.” This verse absolutely and conclusively refutes the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. A little grammar tells us that “we” and “us” include the writer and his audience. The “we” and “us” in this verse then most definitely includes Christians as Paul the apostle is the writer (II Tim 1:1) and Timothy the preacher (II Tim 1:2,4:2) is the one being written to. God will deny Christians (will not save them) if they deny Him.

Some might retort that a true Christian would never deny God, but why would Paul warn Christians against denying God if that were impossible?  Many scriptures show it is possible for a Christian to change his mind. Let’s take as one example Hebrews 3:1a,12 which reads “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling …Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” So it is very possible for a brother in Christ, one who has partaken of the heavenly calling (a true Christian), to change to become an unbeliever and depart from God.

Is short, it is possible for a Christian to deny God, and if he does, God will deny him. He forfeits his salvation (Matt 10:32-33). The Old Testament teaches the same in II Chron 15:2 – “If You Forsake Him, He Will Forsake You.”

If Mark 11:24 Doesn’t Mean “Faith Only” Then Why Would John 3:16?

May 11, 2017

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Even though the only condition stated in the verse for receiving what you pray for is “believe” that your will receive them, nobody thinks that is the only condition for such.

We all know other passages state other conditions for our prayers being answered, for example:

· I Pet 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

· James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

· I John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

So if everybody can see Mark 11:24 doesn’t mean “believe only,” then everybody ought to also be able to see that passages like John 3:16 don’t mean “believe only.” Both Mark 11:24 and John 3:16 state a required condition (believe) for the benefit under consideration, but do not state all the required conditions. They are exactly the same in the respect we are talking about. We must take all the Bible says on both prayer and salvation to get a complete picture.

Matt 27:46 Means The Obvious – Jesus Was Forsaken

May 5, 2017

Jesus said in Matthew 27:46 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” You would think from that statement it would be pretty easy to understand that the Father forsook Jesus on the cross. But as an affront to the critical “take the plain meaning of the Bible when possible” rule (Eph 3:4), some Christians deny such. They say Jesus didn’t really mean what He appeared to be saying, but was only calling attention to Psalms 22 for the benefit of those at the foot of the cross. But that clearly won’t work because Jesus didn’t even bother to make himself clear enough to keep that “audience” from mistakenly thinking He was calling for Elias (verse 47). If He was only trying to make a point to those below, Jesus miserably failed at what He was intending to accomplish. No way Jose.

How could one deny the Father forsook Jesus when Jesus is plainly asking the Father why He did just that? I count 31 times in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John where Jesus asked why someone did something, and every single time, in all 31 cases, that someone had actually done what Jesus was asking why about. I am confident that stat doesn’t surprise you in the least – because we all inherently know …

If Jack asks a friend John “why did you forsake me?” – that means one of three things:

· Jack is lying

· Jack is mistaken

· Jack was forsaken

Which was it for Jesus?