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The Atonement of Christ

 

In the last article we saw how the freewill doctrine is at the root of every false religion, how it teaches that mans will determines God’s will and shipwrecks faith in God’s word. So now let’s see how it perverts the atonement of Christ by promoting a universal atonement that makes salvation “possible” for all….. but certain for none.

According to Scripture, those Jesus died for are those God foreknew, predestined, called, justified and glorified—-past tense and certain (Rom.8:29-39). “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began(2Tim.1:9).Yet, the freewill doctrine “puts the cart before the horse” so to speak, by implying that we must CAUSE Jesus to die and accomplish all this for us….. by believing, receiving, etc…… How ridiculous!

How can we cause something that God “determined before to be done” (Acts 4:28)? Besides, “a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven (Jn.3:27). Believing is also the fruit of Christ’s effectual atonement, NOT the cause, for we can only “believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ” (Eph.1:19-20; 3:7). “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom.5:6, 15:3). 

And the ungodly that Christ died for were “elect according to the foreknowledge of God” (1Pet.1:2). Not because He foreknew they’d exercise their “freewill” to become godly, but He elected them “according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph.1:4-5). God’s election of grace is the cause, whereas faith, repentance and godliness are the fruits, given thru the merits of Jesus’ blood (Acts 18:27, Rom.11:5-6). “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth” (Rom.9:11).

Jesus said, “It is finished” (Jn.19:30). His death atoned for ALL the sins of ALL the elect throughout the world, including the sin of unbelief (Heb.10:12), which is why none of the elect that Jesus died for can end up in hell for unbelief. ”For who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom.8:34), so that their faith fails not (Lk.22:32, Jn.17:9, Heb.7:25), for its “the faith of God’s elect” (Titus 1:1).

Yet, the freewill doctrine teaches that we come to Christ by our own “freewill” and so must maintain our own faith. It also teaches that we must “allow” God to save us by believing. But Scripture says just the opposite. “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). God foreknew His people because He foreordained them to eternal life. Jesus said He laid His life down FOR THE SHEEP, knowing exactly who He was dying for on the cross (Jn.13:1, 2Tim.2:19). But to those who aren’t His—- He said, “ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep” (Jn.10:15, 26-28). Because those who don’t come to Him in truth are the goats (Mt.25:32-34).

Thank God in heaven that the atonement of Christ did all God intended; an actual payment, for actual sins, of actual people that God ordained to eternal life thru the gift of faith (Eph.2:8-10). It didn’t provide an abstract possibility of salvation, but secured the actual purchase and sure salvation of actual people. God had their names in the Lambs book of life before the foundation of the world and promises to never blot them out (Rev.3:5; 13:8, 17:8), which is why Jesus said they SHALL come to Him (Jn.6:37). And His word says to them, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2Thess.2:13). So friend, if you’re born of the Holy Spirit and able to believe the truth, you’ll be able to “make your calling and election sure” (2Pet.1:10).

So pray and seek God’s mercy in Jesus Christ today.

 

God’s Sovereign Will

 

Many Bible verses are used to try to support the false freewill doctrine, but by rightly dividing the word of truth they all end up confirming God’s sovereignty that much more. Take 2Peter3:9 for instance.  It says, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” At first glance, this seems to indicate that there are some in hell that God wanted to save but couldn’t. Yet, when read in context, it shows exactly who Peter was writing to…. the Elect”….”to them that have obtained like precious faith.“ (1Pet.1:2, 2 Pet.1:1).

The key to understanding many of these verses is to know the difference between God’s preceptive will of command and God’s decretive will of purpose. We can resist His precepts and commands by not obeying Him. Yet, even with this resistance, God must allow it, so we’re not really resisting sovereignly and absolutely——only indirectly. God’s will of purpose is what actually happens because it’s what God has ordained and decreed and it cannot be resisted or changed.     

According to Gods perceptive will of command, He naturally desires that all of His creatures obey His precepts for they are good and holy. His commands also show us how holy and good God is and how He is worthy to be worshipped. So anytime we go against His perfect precepts and commands, we are sinning against Him.  As God, He desires and deserves all of our worship and praise, because it’s all of creations duty to worship the Creator. This is why it’s right for God to command all to repent, believe and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, even though He knows all will not do this.

According to God’s decretive will of purpose, He foreknew what would happen when people would be left to themselves.  He foreknew that without His saving mercy, they’d refuse to keep His commands and reject Christ and the offer of salvation (Jn.12:39-40). This is why He could infallibly decree that they would not inherit salvation. He didn’t make them wicked and didn’t cause them to sin by leaving them to themselves. Neither does He predestine people to hell in the same sense that He predestines people to heaven, that would be “equal ultimacy,” which is a  heresy. He just foreknows that those He leaves to themselves will end up in hell due to the natural consequences of sin. He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezek.18:23, 32; 33:11). And He does no harm to the creature by leaving them in the condition in which He originally made them—-upright (Eccl. 7:29), so that they are without excuse. And this is one way He makes His power known and one way He reveals how bad sin is. But He does all of this sinlessly and is justified in all that He does (Rom.1:20, 24, 28; 9:22).

God foreknows all things because He foreordains all things (Rom.11:36, Rev.4:11). He not only ordains the ends, but the means as to what will happen and how it will happen. Human actions are one of the means that God uses to accomplish His will. Our actions do not direct God’s will, but His will directs our actions. He doesn’t infuse evil into the wicked, He only directs the evil that was already in their hearts. For example, God prophesied to Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart for His purpose of being glorified in the deliverance of Israel (Ex.4:21). This is why God could infallibly declare to Moses that Pharaoh would refuse to listen, because He was going to leave Pharaoh to his own sinful, fallen will (Ex.7:13, 22; 8:15; 9:12). And note: God could NOT have infallibly declared Pharaoh’s destiny if Pharaoh could have, by his own “free” will, repented and changed his own heart and mind (Rom.9:17).

God foreknew His people in a special way, for He elected them to be holy and blameless before time began (Eph.1:4). He also knows those who aren’t His elect, but only in a general way because He created them. “The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Prov.16:4, Rom.9:17).  Hell and the wicked exist to reveal how terrible sin is.  Those who end up there are paying their own sin debt, which is impossible—-to show that sin is an eternal offense with eternal consequences. Hell also exists to show how incredibly merciful God is and how much Jesus suffered on behalf of His people in order to save them. 

So naturally, its God’s perceptive will of command that all repent, believe and BE SAVED (2Pet.3:9), because it’s our reasonable duty to our Maker. Yet, His decretive will of purpose chooses (for reasons unknown to us) not to exert His power TO SAVE all people. It’s as if God reserves His special, irresistible love only for those He’s elected to be in His own family. And He obviously set things up this way to show that it had nothing to do with us, but that “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). 

Contact Lee Anne @ gospel4life@live.com

 

The Authority of Scripture

Have you ever wondered what originated the rise and fall of every false religion in the world? The answer may surprise you, because it’s the single most common pitfall of the masses. It’s the “freewill” doctrine of man, which puts man in charge of his own salvation and when it’s taken to its logical conclusion; it ALWAYS shipwrecks faith in God’s word. Because if man’s will was absolutely free, the Bible message would be altered, for it would mean that God chose to have it written down by men that could have supposedly resisted His will.
But this is impossible, “For who hath resisted His will?” “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (Rom.9:19, 2Pet.1:21). God’s in control NOT man, for He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph.1:11). “Of His own will, begat He us with the word of truth” (Ja.1:18), which reveals the truth about creation, Christ’s Deity, His virgin birth, perfect life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension to save us from sin. And “Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn.10:35).
Yet, the freewill doctrine leads to believing it was altered because it was penned by flesh, which then leads to doubting Jesus Christ who came in the flesh (Jn.12:48). But Jesus said, ““It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). “The Word was God”….”And the Word was made flesh” (Jn.1:1, 14). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Tim.3:16). “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Mt.24:35).
The freewill doctrine teaches that “God gives us a will that can reject Him, because He wants us to love Him willingly and freely.” But saints in heaven aren’t given a will that can reject Him and yet…. they TOTALLY love Him willingly and freely!! For its ONLY by being born again by the Holy Spirit, thru the merits of Christ, that we can truly love Him, NOT by an unregenerate will that loves sin (e.g. Rom.5:5).
The Garden of Eden scenario is also used to try to prove that God allowed sin to be offered so we’d have freewill and not be robots. But that’s like saying we’ll be robots in heaven, for God doesn’t allow sin there! Besides, mankind already had freedom of choice before sin was offered by the devil and they were NOT robots. First of all, the fear of being a robot for God is nothing more than complete rebellion, which shows that if left to our own fallen “free” will, we’d rather be a robot for the devil. Besides, “freewill” to choose sin is NOT true freedom at all, or else God wouldn’t be free, for He’s Holy and cannot choose to sin.
Ironically, the Garden scenario actually proves the freewill doctrine is a complete sham. In the sequence of events leading up to the Fall of mankind, three faculties of Eve’s soul were involved when she chose to eat forbidden fruit; her mind, heart and will….. IN THAT ORDER (Gen.3:1-6). The act of her will was preceded by the thoughts of her mind and the desires of her heart, proving that our will doesn’t determine our choices. The act of our will is preceded and determined by other factors, which are now tainted with sin. So our will no longer has the ability to choose God, unless the cleansing regeneration of the Holy Spirit brings our mind, heart and will into harmony with God’s will thru the merits of Jesus’ blood (Titus 3:5).
So remember friend, we can’t faithfully love God unless He intervenes in our lives with an irresistible love that breaks every barrier—-even the barrier of a fallen will that’s a slave to sin (Rom.6:20; 8:35-39). And once we’re saved we can’t brag that He saved us because we loved Him, for its “not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” We can only “love Him, because He first loved us” (1Jn.4:10, 19). “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil.2:13). So pray for His mercy today.

Lee Anne @ gospel4life@live.com

Is Your Heart Right With God?

 “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev.22:17). But who is —“whosoever will?” Is it those who have the strongest, natural “willpower?” No, because according to Scripture it’s not even the will that determines our choices, it’s the heart and it moves our will to act. So the condition of our heart determines whether we will come to Christ in truth or not (e.g. Psa.119:10, Prov.4:23, Acts 8:37, Rom.10:9-10).  

The problem is that since the Fall of mankind, “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer.17:9, Matt.15:18-19, Mk.7:18-23). Due to the extreme corruption that sin causes, just one sin in a lifetime is destructive enough to earn an eternity in hell (James 2:10). “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” which causes people to refuse to come to Christ. Therefore, the human will is not sovereign, but a servant to sin (Rom.3:23, 6:18-23; Jn.5:40).

Our will is free only in the sense that it’s free to choose according to our heart’s desire. And a truly godly choice for Christ cannot possibly come from an evil heart (Lk.6:45-46). So whether or not we do what Jesus says to do and come to Him in truth depends upon whether God has cleansed our hearts from the love of sin and filled it with love for Him, so we’ll be willing to “take the water of life freely” (Job 14:4, Psa.51:10, Prov.16:1, Ezek.36:26, Jn.3:27, 8:44, Phil.2:13).

Still, every person will be held responsible for how they respond to the gospel call, for its everyone’s duty to their Maker to repent, believe and receive Christ, whether they have heavens help or not. God doesn’t lower His standards just because our sin has caused us to fall short of His glory. That would be like a criminal going before a judge and making the excuse that he can’t help but break the law and the judge corrupting justice by letting the criminal go due to the criminal’s inability to abide by the law! 

The truth is that we all deserve hell and God could have chosen not to save any and still been righteous in His judgment. There will be no one in hell that doesn’t deserve to be there, because God has never and never will force anyone to sin. Even God’s act of reprobation causes no one to sin (Rom.1:28). As Scripture says, “God hath made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl.7:29). 

Yet, God is merciful and He has revealed this to us at the cross, where His justice and mercy meet. God can pardon the vilest of sinners and still be righteous because Jesus Christ has purchased them, redeemed them and paid their sin debt in full. The gospel of Christ “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Rom.1:16).

Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn.6:37). So come to Him today friend and taste His free grace. You don’t have to earn it because it’s free to all who truly believe with their whole heart that Christ Jesus is their Savior and their only hope in this life and for eternity. Don’t follow after those who try to come on their own terms or those who think they can bribe God with their own works, for the only way to take the water of life —-is freely.

Sis. Lee Anne—emails are always welcome at gospel4life@live.com

Heresy Alert—OPEN THEISM—Are you an open theist???

Perilous times have come. We’re so troubled on every side that if we don’t resist the devils schemes, we’ll end up compromising the truth just so we can try to make sense of why evil exists. When all we need to do is trust the Lord who “divided the light from the darkness” as He has seen fit, for “in Him is no darkness at all” (Gen.1:4, Jn.1:5, 1Jn.1:5). How else could we appreciate the light of the gospel? Yet, anytime we go beyond God’s word to try to explain why He’s ordained for evil to exist, then we’ve crossed over into what the Bible calls heresy.

One such heresy is called “Open Theism;” the belief that God doesn’t know the future and is therefore subject to change, based on certain verses taken out of context (e.g. Gen.6:6, Ex.32:12-14). It implies that evil randomly happens with no divine purpose at all. In this view, trusting God becomes impossible, for it portrays Him as neither sovereign nor all-knowing. And there can be no assurance of salvation apart from God’s divine providence (Num.23:19, Deut.32:39, Psa.90:4; ch.139, Isa.46:10, Acts 15:18, Rom.8:29-30, Eph.1, Ja.1:17).

Whenever we think God’s ways must be fair according to our human standard of “fair,” then we’re not submitting to God’s will, but exalting our own (Job 35:2; 36: 21). And this is the very sin Elihu confronted Job with in chapters 32-37. Moreover, Elihu wasn’t one of Job’s three friends who had to repent in the end. On the contrary, Elihu was a godly bystander who finally got to the root of Jobs suffering. From there, God confirmed to Job that we’re to NEVER question His ways or doubt His goodness, for we’re in no position to do so. Like Job, we should be humbled into the ground by this truth and repent in dust and ashes. 

When tragedy hits an innocent victim and we become full of self-righteousness, bitterness and doubt concerning God’s goodness, it’s completely understandable but still shows we’re not really innocent at all, but sinful. We’re still accountable to God and won’t have the excuse of being an “innocent” victim on judgment day. Like anyone else, victims have to pay for their sins in hell if they’re not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.   

Jesus said, “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Matt.19:17).This is why He came to save the lost sinner, not the so called “good” and righteous. We have no righteousness of our own. That’s why His righteousness must be transferred (imputed) to us, just as our sins had to be transferred (imputed) to Him while He was on the cross paying our sin debt (Rom.3:9-19; 4:6,8,23,24). Or else Christ died in vain!

Are some sinners worse than others? Absolutely not! That’s why Jesus said, “think ye that they were sinners above all men”……. “I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” All sins are equally terrible in God’s eyes and sin has so corrupted our nature that we must be pulled out of the fire by the force of God’s love. But if you don’t want God to “force”…. or as Scripture puts it….. “make you free,” then you’re basically saying with the wicked “we will not have this man to reign over us”(Matt.20:15, Lk.13:4,5; 19:14,27, Jn.8:36). 

So friend, would you rather for sin to have dominion over you? Do you want God to just leave you to your own unregenerate will, which is a servant (slave) of sin, but “free” from righteousness (Rom.6:20-22)? Do you want to be in bondage in hell for eternity……… as one of satan’s puppets?!  If not, then you need Jesus Christ, for “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Because there’s never been one single, truly saved person to EVER resent God’s divine intervention and there never will be. 

Sis. Lee Anne——emails are always welcome at gospel4life@live.com

The Watered-Down Gospel

In the last article on Baptismal Regeneration (the water gospel), we explored some of its contradictions. So now, we’ll just briefly go over some of its assumptions, such as the thief on the cross “probably” getting baptized by John earlier. And the assumption that Jesus was “probably” preparing Nicodemus to be baptized after the New Covenant was established, because he was still alive after Jesus’ death (John 19:39). For these alone demonstrate how grasping for straws will occur whenever one tries to imply that baptism, or any other act, saves us. 

     Unless God’s word has convinced a sinner how badly sin corrupts, they won’t realize their desperate need for a Savior, and will be fooled into believing they can, by their own corrupt “free” will, choose salvation by doing something. In Gal.1:6-10 Paul warns that we need to be sure we believe the true gospel, not one that causes a fall from grace into work-righteous legalism. Adding requirements besides God’s grace, becomes works in disguise, which is why false doctrines are so tricky. Jesus’ blood didn’t just make His people “savable” depending upon their actions. His blood literally saves them, based on His work, His grace, His mercy, His will and His choice (John 1:13, Rom 9:16, 18, Heb. 9:12). 

     The true gospel is a call to faith in Jesus’ blood atonement on our behalf. Baptism is a pure act of obedience that God works in us to do, AFTER God purifies our hearts by faith (Acts 8:37, 15: 8-9; Phil 2:13). Yet, if we’re baptized in order to get saved, then it’s an impure, meaningless and defiled work of the flesh that God has no part in. An unregenerate act that attempts to appease God, instead of believing Jesus has already done that for us, becomes a witness against us. So unless God first purifies our hearts by faith, nothing we do will be pure in His sight (Tit.1:15). 

     In 1 Cor.1:17 Paul makes a clear distinction between the gospel and water baptism. And he says in 1 Cor. 1:14, 4:15 that he begot believers through the gospel, not thru baptism. Yet, if we go by the water gospel interpretation of 1Cor.1:14, Paul would be saying that he was thankful none of them were saved! Rom 6: 3-5 clearly says baptism is a “likeness” (figure) of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we become children of God by faith in Him (Gal.3:26), then we can be buried with Him in baptism through this faith, which is the operation of God (Col.2:12). Once we’re born again by the Holy Spirit, through faith in Jesus’ blood on our behalf, we can then figuratively “put on Christ” in baptism (Gal.3:27). Just as we can put clothes on a baby AFTER it’s born.    

   The final fatal blow to Baptismal Regeneration is Gal. 1:12, where Paul says he didn’t receive the gospel from man. This ruins the water gospel interpretation of Acts 22:16, which claims Ananias gave Paul the gospel by telling him to be baptized to wash his sins away. The truth is that Ananias was asking Paul why he would wait to do this. Especially since he’d already received the gospel from Jesus in person and met the Lord who chose him (Acts 26:15,16) and acknowledged Christ as Lord (Acts 9:5) and had been delivered from the people and become a witness for Christ (Acts 26:16-17)and had his heart changed (Acts 9:6) and was no longer a persecutor, but a praying man (Acts 9:11) who had his eyes opened (Acts 9:18) and had been called by God’s grace and had Jesus revealed in him (Gal.1:11-16)! So naturally, AFTER all this, Paul would want to finally come clean before the people in the act of baptism, to signify that his sins had already been washed away by Jesus’ blood (Heb.9:22, 26)!! Who wouldn’t?  

   Baptism is a beautiful, symbolic sacrament to be once enjoyed by all who believe in the sufficiency of Jesus’ sacrifice, whereas those who say it’s a requirement for salvation, mar its beauty by implying His grace and His sacrifice wasn’t enough. So why put limits on God’s power? He’s still performing miracles today, every time someone is saved!! And remember friend, it’s not what we do that saves us, but who we have: “He who has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12).

Sis Lee Anne—-readers with questions or comments are free to contact me at gospel4life@live.com

 

 

 

Therapy or Theology?

In the last article we seen how Scripture proves God is sovereign in all things, including suffering. We also touched a little on the deistic view of suffering. Yet, we need to take a closer look into deism, for it’s the view of the whole world, which lies in wickedness (1Jn.5:19).  It attempts to put man or “mother nature” in charge and portrays God as a helpless bystander. But Scripture clearly shows that God’s hands are not tied by His laws of nature or even by the so-called “freewill” of man (e.g. Dan.4:35, Eph1:21).

For example, Jonah wasn’t willing to do what God called him to do. Far from it, Jonah tried to run from God and found out that he couldn’t. Why? ….because God always catches up with His own. He never leaves them to themselves, but seeks them and rescues them, which is why God prepared the fish to swallow Jonah and spew him out on land again. God knows how to incline His people to be willing to obey! His hands are NOT tied!!

Even in Ezekiel 2:1-2 we see that God grants His people what He commands, for He knows we’re helpless. Yet, the motto of deism is “God helps those who help themselves,” when Scripture clearly shows the opposite. God helps those who CAN’T help themselves (e.g. Isa.64:6, Lk.18:10-14).  Sin has so corrupted our nature, we must be born again by the Holy Spirit, Who alone can quicken us from being dead in sin and make us alive in Christ (Eph2:1-10).

Much of our suffering (even as Christians) is due to the sin that dwells in the flesh. Many times even depression begins with sin (worry, impatience, doubting God, believing the devils lies), not low self-esteem. Yet, therapeutic deism turns people to therapy, rather than to God for mercy. A Savior can never be truly treasured as long as one thinks they’re basic “goodness” can attain salvation. When in reality the only part we play in salvation is the sinning. God does all the saving and He does it effectually and completely, leaving none of it to us, because “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” “For when we were yet WITHOUT STRENGTH in due time Christ died for the ungodly”(Rom.3:10-12, 5:6). 

Deism is a self-help religion that downplays how terrible sin is and labors to boost self-esteem. But 2 Tim.3:2 shows us that’s the last thing we need. We already love ourselves too much! We’re naturally selfish and every other bad thing. So our greatest need is to have a Savior Who can cover our sins, reconcile us to God and love us more than we could ever love ourselves. We need the blessed assurance that we’re saved from the eternal damnation our sins deserve.

Deism also idolizes the mind by claiming the gospel can be grasped by natural reason, rather than supernatural revelation by God. But “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor.2:14). So the only “freewill” the natural mind has is “freedom” from righteousness, for “when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness” (Rom.6:20). But God never leaves His people to their own fallen “freewill,” but opens their understanding and grants them repentance so they CAN recover themselves from the snare of the devil (2Tim.2:25-26). 

So friend, “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (Jn.8:36). Jesus even delivered someone possessed by a legion of demons, not due to an ability to choose Him with their natural mind, because it wasn’t until AFTER Jesus delivered him that he was even in his right mind to follow Jesus (Mk.5:15). So take comfort fellow-sufferer, one can even be out of their mind and still be saved and delivered by God, who gives the spirit of a sound mind (2Tim1:7) ….because nothing is impossible for God. Sis. Lee Anne—e-mails welcome at gospel4life@live.com