Did you know that it’s possible for folks to make a false denomination because of a misunderstanding of the Bible?
Matt 22:23-33 The Sadducees made a Jewish denomination because they didn’t take notice of the tense of a verb.
Jesus said to them, “Ye do Err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matt 22:29)
“Moreover he said, I AM the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exo 3:6)
Jesus is pointing out that God said “I AM,” not “I WAS.”
The Sadducees entire system of belief about salvation was error.
Acts 23:7 “And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.”
Are you making an error in your faith not knowing the scriptures?
How would we know?
Shipwrecked their faith: 1Tim 1:19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
Neglected Salvation: Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;.
Fallen from Grace: Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Departed from God: Heb 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
Drawn back to perdition: Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
>Spencer, Evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper St.
There’s a common misconception about the Kingdom of God. It’s taught in error that Jesus will one day set up a physical kingdom, reigning in Jerusalem. According to the error, His plans were foiled by the Jews who rejected Him, and murdered Him. This is commonly called the doctrine of PREMILLENIALISM. Is this true?
It’s against scripture for Christ to reign from a physical throne in Jerusalem. “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jer 22:30).
Never trust a doctrine based on the premise that mankind foiled God’s plans. LOL. “He shall not fail nor be discouraged,” (Isaiah 42:4).
His own disciples expected an earthly kingdom, but Jesus said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21; cf John 18:36).
However, He does have a Kingdom and it does have a TEMPLE on earth, a spiritual house. In Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom, the church, there is a Temple and it’s being built continually with LIVING STONES. What does the bible say about these living STONES?
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Peter 2:5).
God’s Temple today is a SPIRITUAL HOUSE. “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1Cor 3:9-15; cf. 1Pet 2:5). The church of Christ is the Spiritual House of God, the individuals are the living stones.
The church of Christ is the TEMPLE of God and individual members are the living stones. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1Cor 3:16-17)? “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” (6:19; Eph 2:21-22)? Anyone that claims that there will be a physical kingdom on earth has overlooked that the Kingdom of God is the church of Christ. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Col 1:13).
There is only ONE Kingdom, ONE BODY. “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph 1:22-23; cf. Eph 4:4). Since the church is the Kingdom, and the church is His body, then there is only ONE BODY (temple) in His Kingdom.
Every Temple has a foundation, and this Spiritual Temple is no exception. NO OTHER FOUNDATION exists except the Chief Cornerstone, which is Christ. “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:20-21). Referring back to a previous passage about the Spiritual House, Paul said, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor 3:11; cf. Matt 16:18).
As was prophesied, this Kingdom is an ENDURING Kingdom if we keep His commands “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44). “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Heb 3:6).
Lastly, since people are the Living Stones, we are to STAND FIRM. “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel,” (Col 1:23). The stones that STAND FIRM are precious STONES, but those stones that are not of precious material will be burned. “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1Cor 3:12-13).
Spencer is an evangelist in Borger, Texas.
THE KINGDOM is the CHURCH:
The Same Beginning: Pentecost. (Mark 9:1; Acts 2:47)
The Same Duration: Forever.
(Daniel 2:44; Matthew 16:18; Hebrews 12:28; Ephesians 3:21)
The Same Ownership: God and Christ. (Ephesians 5:5)
The same historical period: During Roman empire.
(Luke 2:1; Acts 2:1; Colossians 1:13)
The same eschatological beginning: In the “Last Days” or “end times”
(Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Acts 2:15–17; James 5:1–3)
Kingdom and church used interchangeably: (Matthew 16:18)
…there would not be any division.” You’ve probably heard something like this before. Another way of saying this is, “Let’s unite over the things we have in common and not divide over our differences.”
They contend that love will prevent any division among us. I would agree, but not in the way that they use love.
If love for the truth is what is meant by “more love” then I’m all in. However, it is evident that not everyone will love and accept the truth on some matters of faith.
“…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2Thess. 2:10)
LOVE for the truth motivates the servants of the Lord to preach it and to exhort all to follow it (cf. 2Tim 4:2). Sadly, there are those who refuse to submit to the will of the Lord, and do not have the doctrine of Christ. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” (2John 1:9a)
When some say that love will prevent division, they are using their definition of love which OVERLOOKS practices that are not found in the doctrine of Christ. These will place the blame of division on those laboring to practice the truth rather on those who will not accept it. Paul wrote, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph 5:11). Love of the truth would have adherents practicing the divine pattern of the truth, rather than advocating an umbrella of love that ignores it.
Certainly, the truth is to be spoken in love. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph 4:15). We have a responsibility to speak the truth in love. Perhaps, those who cry that love would prevent divisions, dwell on the manner of presentation. Every preacher ought to work on the manner of presenting the truth in love (1Cor 13), but what right does anyone have to reject the word of God based on the manner of presentation? Salvation comes through obeying the gospel of Christ, and any failure should be placed on the hearts of the hearers (cf. Luke 8:11-15; 2Thess 1:8).
All the love in the world is not going to result in some people accepting the truth whereby brethren can walk together in truth. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) “So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43).
VIOLATION of God’s word is to be blamed for division, not a lack of love. Are we prepared to say that a lack of love from Christ resulted in division? May it never be!!
Was there a lack of love on the part of John toward Diotrephes that caused division? No, it’s the following of EVIL that causes the division. It was the lack of love for the truth on the part of Diotrephes that caused the division. “but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not” (2John 9-11). [emph mine seb]
Yes, we need more love “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Phil 1:9; cf. 1Thess 3:12). May there be more love of the truth that we may walk together in unity of the Spirit and have fellowship with God through Jesus Christ our Savior. “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:4-6)
Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin & Juniper St church of Christ in Borger Texas. If you live in the Borger area and would like a personal bible study, please reach out & let us know how we can help you know more of God’s word.
Stephen made this statement about the Jews of his day; “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” (Acts 7:51)
This is an astounding claim, that some resist the Holy Ghost. As astounding as that is, we all can attest to this fact.
Not only are there those who resist the Holy Ghost, but there are those who try to resist YOU as you seek to obey Him.
The first step in solving a problem is identifying the problem. Who are those who RESIST our progress?
People that will RESIST us seek to obey Christ.
First, there will be those who attempt to deceive us and rob us of our reward. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Eph 5:6; cf. Col 2:4,8,18)
Second, there will be those who will be mockers of our enlightenment in Christ. “And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.” (Acts 24:26; cf Acts 17:32)
The third kind of people who will resist us are the selfish & superficial people. They will often misquote Matt 7:1, “Judge not…” as they resist the commands of God against sin. This type of person appeals to stories & situations as they attempt to draw us away after their own lusts & desires.
The fourth type of person resists us accidentally. They may be hindering us inadvertently because they are living their lives free of concern for the moral principles of God. These have an affect on the world around us, vexing our spirits. (cf. 2Pet 2:7-8)
The fifth person is personal. It is us. Sometimes our biggest resistance is from our own Sowing & Reaping. We can sow sparingly, sow to the wind, sow to the flesh, sow spiritual things, sow iniquity and sow wickedness. (Gal 6:7-8; 2Cor 9:6; 1Cor 9:11; Hos 8:7; Prov 22:8; Job 4:8). We reap what we sow.
Lastly, there are those who, for whatever reason, are just trouble makers. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom 16:17) Some people are just mean; Meddlers, Egotistical, Accusers, and Negative.
Whoever it is, we can RESIST them & draw near to God. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
It’s Up to You
God gave you this day to do just as you would
You can throw it away – or do some good.
You can make someone happy, or make someone sad.
What have you done with the day that you had?
God gave it to you to do just as you would,
You could do what is wicked, or do what is good.
You can hand out a smile, or just give ’em a frown,
You can lift someone up, or push someone down.
You can lighten a load, or some progress impede.
You can look for a rose or just gather some weed.
What did you do with your beautiful day?
God gave it to you; did you throw it away?
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:35-40)
Part one in answering our question 3 points were made in the last article…
Now we will offer three more points as we answer the question…
Does it MATTER what one believes?
When someone tells you to “choose the church of your choice,” what they’re appealing to is YOUR wants & wishes and NOT GOD’S. This is not an appeal to authority of God; it is an appeal to THEIR BELLY. This is not my opinion; this is what the bible says, “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)” (Phil 3:19)
Another way we usually see this is when people try to defend unscriptural practices. They often make an appeal to an emotional situation. Instead of looking for a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ they will give you a ‘thus saith my feelings.’ What they fail to realize is that they have made THEIR BELLY THEIR GOD. Feelings are subjective and can be deceived. Did you know that it’s not possible to know through just feelings if God is with you? “And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.” (Judge 16:20)
The way to know is by searching the scriptures. The Bereans were called NOBLE because they were Not Gullible (Eph 4:14; 5:6), had Opened their hearts while they Opened the scriptures (Prov 2:1-5), had Belief based on Looking through the scriptures daily (Rom 10:17), and this Earnest Endeavor made it possible for them to know the truth.
If it doesn’t MATTER, then all the little ‘g’ gods are EQUAL to the One Omnipotent God of heaven. Did you know that the bible says it’s possible to hear another Jesus, another gospel, by another spirit? Paul wrote warning us about a perverted gospel.
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2Cor 11:4)
“Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal 1:7)
None of these false teachers were trying to win you over by convincing you of doing some harm. Paul said that they appeared as “the ministers of righteousness.” Satan himself using the mask as “an angel of light.” (2Cor 11:13-15) If it’s possible to be deceived by a false gospel, spirit, or Jesus, then it DOES MATTER what one believes.
An extension of the last point, since it’s possible to follow a false Jesus, it must then be concluded that it’s possible to be RELIGIOUS and wrong.
Paul warned the Colossian Christians against false RELIGIOUS practices. “Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” (Col 2:23) “Will Worship” refers to self-developed RELIGIOUS practices. We see this all the time, people deciding on man made RELIGIOUS practices foreign to the scriptures.
This is nothing new, we can read about it in Leviticus 10. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”
Nadab and Abihu had just been trained on what God wanted. They altered the pattern and were immediately struck. While God doesn’t demonstrate His disapproval in this way today, it doesn’t mean He is pleased with our altering of the pattern for New Testament practices.
If it doesn’t MATTER what one believes than any and all beliefs, even one’s contrary to the others is ok.
- Does it MATTER that one religion to deny Christ, while the other says that He is the way the truth and the life? (John 14:6)
- Does it MATTER that the bible calls out sin, while man-made doctrine says it isn’t a sin? (1Cor 6:9-11)
- Does it MATTER that the bible says “baptism doth also now save us,” while man says that baptism has nothing to do with salvation? (1Peter 3:21)
- Does it MATTER that some will say we’re saved by faith alone when the bible says we’re not? (Jas 2:14-26)
- Does it MATTER that some say you can never lose your salvation when the bible says you can? (Gal 5:4; Heb 2:1-3)
It does MATTER what we believe. Your eternal soul is at stake.
Does it MATTER what we Believe? part one.
Toward the end of nearly every discussion about the divisive state of the religious world, one will usually say something like this…
“You can’t tell me my sweet grandma (could be neighbor, friend or relative), who never went to church (or did go to a denomination ‘religiously’), who was kind to people and animals, who never said a bad word or did a bad thing, who helped anyone that asked, is lost. She was so very sincere in what she believed.”
Instead of approaching the idea of whether sincerity saves, let’s ask the question:
Does it MATTER what one believes?
Usually in these discussions we can agree that certain very wicked people are lost (the Hitlers and the pedophiles of the world). Are the kind and the sincere who didn’t follow the bible totally saved because of their sincerity and goodness?
We’ll set aside the fact that those who say this are suggesting a ‘works based’ salvation, which they would normally condemn. We will just look at the Bible and ask, does it MATTER?
Does it MATTER what we believe?
Most would agree that we ought to obey GOD rather than MAN. (Acts 5:29). Jesus was critical of those that created doctrines contrary to the doctrine of God.
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…” (Mark 7:7-8a)
Usually, they will agree with this point that you have to believe in God, in Christ and in the Bible. But when it comes to saying that the non-Christian religious people are lost, they stop short saying; “I’m not the judge.” This is the fallacy of equivocation. We’re not judging their hearts, we’re making righteous judgment with the Word of God. (cf. Mat 7:1-2)
Paul had ‘judged’ that the Jews of his day were not saved; “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (Rom 10:1-2). He had discerned from the Truth of God’s word that they had not obeyed the gospel and therefore were not saved.
Which brings us to our next point about “does it MATTER,” does your belief AGREE with the Doctrine of Christ?
In both Old and the New Testaments, one had to have a ‘thus saith the Lord’ for their beliefs and actions. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17) When King David desired to build a Permanent Temple for God, he was prohibited because he didn’t have a command from God, there was no scriptural command to do this good thing. Therefore, it was a wrong thing. (2Sam 7:1-7)
Here’s the point, God’s word is Objective Truth. It is transparent, researchable, universal to all, for the thinking person, and it is heavenly (cf. James 3:17). Compare the objective Word of God to the subjective, shifting sand of a person’s heart. (Mat 7:24-29) “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;” (Eph 4:14)
David appealed to the subjective standard of his feelings. He was pointed toward the OBJECTIVE, fixed standard of God’s Word. We’re told not to go beyond what is written (2Cor 4:13), speak as the oracles of God (1Pet 4:11), the commandments of the Lord (1Cor 14:37), the inspired Scriptures (2Tim 3:16-17), using the words chosen by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 2:9-13), and not to add to nor take away from the Word (Rev 22:18-19).
Then, in this 3rd point, when we have an objective standard, called the TRUTH (John 17:17), we have an ability to search the scripture to find out if what we feel is true (Acts 17:11).
Did you know it’s possible to feel secure and not know the Lord has departed from you? (Judges 16:20) Did you know it’s possible to believe a lie? (1Kings 13:18; cf. 2Thess 2:9-12)
By reading & studying God’s word, we can Know the truth and be set free from the bondage of lies, sin, and the corruption of this life. (John 8:32; 12:48; cf. James 1:25; 2:12)
the MANIFOLD wisdom of God pt 5
the FREE WILL of man will not be infringed.
Some would have you believe that grace is Irresistible, and that grace is Limited to only those that the Holy Spirit saves.
Another way of saying this is; God has predetermined (predestined) those individuals who will be saved and those who will be lost.
Yet another way of saying the same thing; A person chosen to be saved by God cannot reject Him, and a person chosen to be lost by God cannot so act as to be saved.
Any rational thinking person can see that this is error to extreme proportions.
While it is true that God Calls [Acts 2:39], it is also true that the calling is done by the gospel. “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2Thess 2:14].
Does God’s call go against a person’s FREE WILL? We shall show that God will never infringe upon a person’s FREE WILL to follow or reject Him.
We have been given the…
Freedom to choose. Throughout scripture are examples of God presenting man with a choice, to follow or not. “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” [Josh 24:15]. “therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” [Deut 30:15-19]
It is possible to…
Resisting the Holy Spirit is possible. Scripture teaches that it’s possible for a person to “resist the Holy Spirit.” Error says the His grace is irresistible.
“You always resist the Holy Spirit;” [Acts 7:51-55]
There has always been an…
Expectation of God that all men repent. God does not will that any perish but all be saved. If it’s not possible to choose to walk away from God, then universalism (all saved) must be true.
Tit 2:11; 1 Tim 2:4; 2Pet 3:9
this idea of Irresistible Grace renders…
EVANGELISM unnecessary. He that is drawn automatically by the Holy Spirit working directly on their mind against their will shall be saved. Why waste our time evangelizing if all is predestined. How can we know who to preach to? “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2Thess 2:14; cf. Mat 28:18-20]
Irresistible Grace makes God a respecter of persons.
We’ve covered this in the last lesson, God is NOT a respecter of persons. [Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11-12; 1Pe 1:17] If He chooses SOME to be saved and the REST to be lost, then God is unjust.
“Why do you call me Lord & don’t do what I say?” [Luke 6:46] This saying from Jesus will be spoken to some on the judgment day. If we are saved or lost against our will, this question makes zero sense.
Lose free will and God is responsible for my actions.
The devil made me do it? Nay, Nay; God made me do it!!!
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” [James 1:13-15]. “We must all appear before the judgment that each may be repaid for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” [2 Cor 5:10]
We have free will and we are to…
Learn of Jesus. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;” [Mat 11:29; cf. John 6:45]. We are drawn to God by HEARING (understanding through learning) the word of God. [Rom 10:17; John 20:30-31], we are called through gospel [1Thess 2:14] which some will accept, while others will reject!
Jesus & the Holy Spirit had opportunity to teach the Gospel to Paul personally, yet he had to hear the good news through the agency of the word through a person. [cf. Acts 8, 9, 10 et al.]
Scriptural Predestination is that God has predetermined HOW mankind will be saved. The method is predetermined, and all those that obey the Gospel shall be saved. [2Thess 1:8-9]
One of the questions I like to ask folks is, “Why do you go to your church?” The answers vary, but the least frequently mentioned reason is Biblical accuracy.
Even when someone does mention sound Biblical teaching, it usually falls under one of 2 categories, chief of which is, “I really like the Pastor.” Second to this is, “he uses the bible.”
This is my cue to ask another set of questions. It usually goes like this…
ME: “That’s cool, what does your pastor teach about salvation?”
THEM: “It’s about a relationship not a religion. If you ask Jesus into your heart you will be saved.”
ME: “Oh? What is that bible passage for that belief?”
THEM: blank stare “I don’t know the bible as well as I should, but I know it’s in there. Besides, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”” [John 3:16]
ME: “I was reading 1Peter 3:21 and I saw this. Maybe you can help me understand what it means, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us.” What do you think that means?”
THEM: “I have to go.”
The above was just an abbreviated version of several conversations I have every week. People are very happy to tell me of their feelings of faith. When asked for biblical clarity, many no longer want to talk.
I KNOW WHY…
There are only a few reasons why a person won’t talk to me or another who asks for clarity of their beliefs.
- EMBARRASSED: They can’t defend them & are a little embarrassed, so they must go before I discover their ignorance. Sometimes embarrassment becomes anger.
- MISTRUST: Connected to the first, since they know they don’t know, they must run away from any who has a different gospel. Maybe they heard Gal 1:8-9 in reverse?
- HOOKED ON A FEELING: This is exemplified by phrases like, “You can’t tell me that God isn’t speaking to me.” “I had an overwhelming feeling of peace…” (I’ve heard these lines from just about every denomination which begs the question, how do we know their feelings are accurate?)
There is a way to KNOW for certain. It’s in God’s word. We can read it in context and COMPARE it to what we are doing. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” [Matt 7:24]
The sayings of Jesus are recorded in the Gospels and His commands are in the rest of the New Testament, [1Cor 14:37]. “These are written that ye might believe…” [John 20:30-31].
The beauty of the written word is that we can all look at the same material and know the truth and be set free. [John 8:32]
In short, WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
BAPTISM = IMMERSE in WATER
ACTS 22:16; 1Pet 3:21
EPH 4:4, 1:22-23
Heb 7:12-14; 2Sam 7:7
LOCAL CHURCH AUTONOMY
FAITH through the WORD
ASSURANCE through OBEDIENCE
NOT BY FAITH ALONE
Eph 5:19; Col 3:16
BAPTISM, Sprinkling / Holy Spirit, Not ESSENTIAL
A CHURCH WORLD HEADQUARTERS
FAITH through A FEELING
ASSURANCE through A FEELING
SING, PLAY INSTRUMENTS, BANDS, CHOIRS, SOLOS etc.
While talking with a denominational preacher about reaching the lost he said, “Some people just aren’t interested in spiritual things, they don’t study and don’t have many conversations about spiritual things. In these cases, all we can do is let the Holy Spirit work on their heart.”
This man would say that he doesn’t accept Calvinism, but he was vocalizing the false doctrine. To remind you of what Calvinism teaches allow me to summarize…
- Total Depravity: All mankind is born into sin, including babies.
- Unconditional Election: God picks and chooses who will be saved or lost and it’s unchangeable.
- Limited Atonement: That God picks only a few individuals to be saved and all else will be lost and you can’t change it. Including babies.
- Irresistible Grace: That if you’re among those being chosen to be saved, then you cannot prevent it nor resist it.
- Perseverance of the Saints: Once God saves you (even if against your will) then you can never lose your salvation ever, no matter how sinful a life you lead or even if you change your belief.
Now this is my summary of their belief and if you asked a Calvinist, he will spin it so it sounds better, but the result will be the same; IT’S UNSCRIPTURAL. Another thing you might find is that there are denominations that accept all or part of the above. Belief (faith) comes from hearing the written word of God [John 20:30-31; Rom 10:17].
A partial belief is what this preacher had accepted. He rejects most of Calvinism, but his statement, that the Holy Spirit will work on a person’s heart even as they have no interest in spiritual things, no reading, nor studying with others from the bible, proves it.
HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVERT?
No Bible believer questions the fact the Holy Spirit saves sinners (John 3:5), the question is HOW? We only have 2 options a) direct operation of the Spirit or b) through the influence of a medium (the Gospel, Romans 1:16).
The Scriptures teach us that the Holy Spirit’s work, in the redemption of mankind, is the work of divine revelation. God originates, Christ procures, the Spirit reveals.
Review the chart on the next page to see HOW the Holy Spirit works to save sinners. What you will find is that people are converted through the Holy Spirit revealed word of God that utilized teaching, preaching or reading of the scriptures. Yes, the Holy Spirit does work on our hearts, but He does it through our diligent study of God’s divine word.
ILLUSTRATION: When a person says, “my spouse made a nourishing dinner,” who did it? Were they nourished by the spouse or the food? If a person and an instrument perform the same task, the person is working THROUGH the instrument.Thus, the Holy Spirit saves through the influence of the written word of God [John 3:5; 1Pet 1:22-23].
The Holy Spirit converts a person when they engage in seeking the Kingdom of God, Bible reading and a diligent study of God’s word, rightly divided. [Matt 6:33; 2Tim 2:15]