Monday, January 31, 2011

Punt "Footprints in The Sand": Sola Scriptura

UNEDITED question received below-
Question: "In the book of Exodus the Israelites were instructed to take the blood of a lamb on put it on the doorposts. In doing so it made a Hebrew letter. My question is what does that letter mean?"

Answer:
There is no mention of any letters on the door posts or lentil in Hebrew homes in the account of the Passover instructions given to the Jews by Moses in Exodus 12.
Exodus 12:22 "You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.
23"For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you."

After reviewing the Passover account in Exodus and in reliable commentaries no mention is found of the blood forming a Hebrew letter on a doorpost. It is not recorded in scripture. In a quick scan of the internet I found one obscure devotional comment about how the blood placed on the door posts applied by the Hebrews soaked into and highlighted the first letter of the law written on the doorpost. One major problem. Again, the Passover instructions were given in Exodus 12 by Moses to the Hebrews. The Law [10 Commandments] was given in Exodus 20. Moses, the human author of Exodus by the authority of the Holy Spirit, undoubtedly wrote the Passover account much later. This would have to be a nice sentimental story. But why?

Somebody once wrote a touching "Legend of the Dogwoods." The cross of Christ was supposed to have been made from this tree. A touching touching sentiment sure. But, what about the gospels account of our the crucifiction?. The four gospel accounts need no editing on our parts. Why recommend "Footprints in the Sand" when you could recommend a Bible passage? Christians need to trust Scripture. I would strongly recommend that this most powerful story of Jewish redemption and foreshadowing of Jesus Christ needs no embellishment on our part.

Revelation 22:18 "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;" Is that a strong enough answer. When you have GOD's HOLY WORD, why do you turn to "Footprints in The Sand" instead for comfort?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Departing From The Will of God or Forfeiting Grace?

Here is my answer to a rambling question I received concerning Christians departing the faith and seemingly forfeiting grace.

This question is UNEDITED!
QUESTION:
"I read your write-up on the fate of a believer who goes back into sin, and I'm confused. How can we reconcile your teaching with the following Scriptures? 1)1 Timothy 4: 1-2: "Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits & doctrines of devils.." One thing about this passage is crystal clear - that some will depart from the faith. Since it is not possible to depart from something you never possessed in the first place, this scripture is referring to believers who were once saved but who will fall away from the faith. 2)In Heb. 3: 12 & 14, the Bible says, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God". v.14, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Here Paul is addressing the believers in Christ. There should be no doubt about that because in verse 12, he refers to them as "brethren" and in verse 14, he says, "For we have been made partakers of Christ". So, Paul isn't speaking to unbelievers here. He's speaking to believers. He warns them to beware of departing from God. This means it is possible for a believer to depart from God."

FL ANSWER:
The biblical tenet of "eternal security" is upheld in the whole counsel of scripture. John 10:29 [NASB] "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."
Though "proof texting" [focusing on one text] can be accurate in teaching biblical doctrine-it has also led to false doctrine [teaching], church practices and even supports the activities of cults. Here is a verse taken as a "proof text" that many abductionist cults have used to persuade followers to flee families and loved ones.
Luke 14:26 [NASB}" If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." The duped will think here is a biblical quote supporting a horrible thing. Orthodox Christianity teaches that this saying of Christ is hyperbole [an exaggeration to make a point].

People who are not Christians have an will join local churches. This was confirmed when Christ taught about the wheat and tares. Matthew 13:24-25 [NASB] 24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25"But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away." Augustine of Hippo taught this as the visible [all professing church members] compared to the invisible church [those born again through out the world].
The Apostle Paul further teaches about false members who are partakers but have not received Christ.
Romans 9:6 [NASB] "But it is not as though the word of God has failed For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;".

We all sin- the saved and unsaved. Though some false doctrine has hurt the church by teaching total sanctification has been achieved by people on Earth. The saved sin. Are they continually leaving salvation? No. But there is a responsibility of the Christian to grow and to be sanctified in grace. Do Christians get caught into false doctrine like the "prosperity gospel"? Yes. They are called to repent. Christians do not sin their way out of Salvation that was given to them by Christ Alone!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Angel Sightings???

Question by one person posed to me about an angel sighting:

Q. [unedited] "do angels have marks or identifying marks on them and if they do what is the purpose. a friend said an angel visited his church and told him that he can to see if they had idols and for the church to listen the pastor because doing God's will."

In answering this question I am understanding you to ask-
1) What do angels look like? Are there any outward signs a person could tell if they were looking at an angel?
2) What do angels do on Earth?
3) Is my friend telling the truth when he said an angel spoke to him at church and made a comment to him about the angel's mission at that church and a message about the pastor?

Angels are a great mystery in the Bible as their secretive work at times is revealed rarely in scripture. There are 283 references in the Bible concerning angels. Only a few give reference to their appearance. These appearances in scripture do not match our modern imagination. No baby angels like in the toilet paper adds or female angels are recorded in scripture. In Zechariah 5:9 in a vision the prophet sees in a vision "two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens." [NASB] These beings in Zechariah's vision are not identified as angels.
An order of angels names Seraphim are described in a heavenly vision by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6:2 [NASB] "Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew."
In the New Testament all reports of angels are described as humans, especially the ones ministering on Earth. An Angel at the empty tomb, who rolled away the stone of the tomb our savior laid in, is described in Matthew 28:2-3 [NASB] "2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow." So New Testament description of an appearance of an angel is the angels appearance was "like lightning" and "clothing as white as snow." This is a very interesting description due to the lack of snow in Israel.

In the Ryrie Study Bible, Charles Ryrie, in the Doctrine of Angels is listed a description of the ministry of angels to believers. Angels minister by giving aid to believers (Hebrews 1:14), they are involved in answering prayer (Acts 12:7), they observe Christian experiences (1 Corinthians 4:9, 1 Timothy 5:21), encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23-24), are interested in evangelism (Luke 15:10, Acts 8:26), and care for the righteous at death (Luke 16:22, Jude 9).

You seem to be asking if your friend is giving you a truthful account of an angelic encounter. It is possible your friend was deceived? Is it possible that your friend is claiming an angelic encounter to receive attention? Or, is this a truthful witness concerning an angelic encounter? Due to the pattern of New Testament angelic ministry the information given does not seem legitimate. Angels are ministering spirits and a special order of creation. It does not match that an angel was at church to chit chat and gossip. That's what members are for. In all seriousness dubious angel sightings are a great cause of alarm of an individual's or a church's character and integrity.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LOSE SALVATION?

This blog will answer questions asked by those who have questions about faith in Christ.
Recently I have been accepted to be one of the writers for GotQuestions.org,
Here was my sample question in my application. What do you think about it?


Q: IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO LOSE SALVATION?

For a person to contemplate losing their salvation can be one of the greatest fears a new believer can have.
Very often what shapes a Christian's opinion of whether they can lose or cannot lose their salvation is shaped by worry or the church or denominational teaching they have received.
Some Scripture verses often sited that a Christian's salvation can be lost are

Hebrews 6:4-8 [NASB]

"4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
This verse is a theoretical bit of contemplation. If they left salvation they could not return to it theoretically since they would have to "crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open Shame." It says if people "tasted".
In Matthew 26:6 Jesus says "Take , eat, this is my body." We do not just "taste" we eat or fully receive this gift given to us. No earning or trying out salvation is recorded in scripture.

Another scripture passage often recalled in falling from grace is usually partially quoted.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
"9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

God's grace is the champion here. The Bible says we are all sinners. The Christians in Corinth were reminded of their plight as they needed and received The Savior.

"11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."

Many Christians who believe we can fall from grace are from churches and denominations that are described as Wesleyan, Holiness or Armenian. Their are exceptions in each group but the predominant view of these Christian groups is that a Christan can "fall from grace."

Here are some scriptures that support many Christian's who view salvation as lasting or permanent.
These Christians are said to believe in "eternal security" or in church slang "once saved always saved."

Romans 8:35-39 [NASB]
"35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36Just as it is written,
"FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."
37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

John 10:27-29 [NASB]
27"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
29"]My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
Many churches and denominations that teach "eternal security" are from a Reformed and or Baptistic heritage. Critics of "eternal security" see this view as Antinomian as they falsely can say "eternal security" people feel they have a "license to sin." Critics of those who hold the view that they can "fall from grace" can wonder how anyone could be saved since we all still sin. We are being sanctified after we are saved. We have not and can not reach "sinless perfection." No one who believes in "falling from grace" can tell us how or when has a Christian sinned enough to forfeit salvation.
Can we lose our salvation? No. God through Jesus Christ's substitutionary death on the cross washes and fills us with His Holy Spirit at our moment of salvation. God is consistent in His promise and fulfillment of our salvation. It has been often said God is a Sovereign (He rules over all and everything), and man is responsible to respond. Man is still in a sinful bodily state until his glorification as he meets eternity.

Recommended reading:
CHOSEN BUT FREE: A Balanced view of God's Sovereignty and Free Will, author Norman Geisler
ETERNAL SECURITY, author Charles Stanley

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Year Every Year Resolution-EVANGELIZE!-great evangelism quotes

Here is a compilation of quotes I found on a blog called Amazing Christ

Missionary Quotes on Evangelism
Posted by Trent Arwine in Quotes on June 1, 2009

‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world”
William Booth

“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.”
Elton Trueblood

“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure so that I may save souls. When I sleep I dream of them; when I awake they are first in my thoughts…no amount of scholastic attainment, of able and profound exposition of brilliant and stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep impassioned sympathetic love for human souls.”
David Brainerd

“We shall have all eternity in which to celebrate our victories, but we have only one swift hour before the sunset in which to win them.”
Robert Moffatt

“You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go not only to those that need you, but to those that need you most…It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance.”
John Wesley

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of ­eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”
Hudson Taylor

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”
John Wesley

“If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one GO there UNWARNED and UNPRAYED for.”
Charles Spurgeon

“I’d rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them.”
Keith Green

“Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.”
C. T. Studd

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching outdoors, but it would take a very strong argument to prove that a man who has never preached beyond the walls of his meetinghouse has done his duty. A defense is required for services within buildings rather than for worship outside of them.”
William Booth

“It is no marvel that the devil does not love field preaching! Neither do I; I love a commodious room, a soft cushion, a handsome pulpit. But where is my zeal if I do not trample all these underfoot in order to save one more soul?”
John Wesley

“Preach abroad….It is the cooping yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in.”
Jonathan Edwards

“I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields…I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches.”
George Whitfield

“I am well assured that I did far more good to my Lincolnshire parishioners by preaching three days on my father’s tomb than I did by preaching three years in his pulpit.”
John Wesley

“Lord, make me a crisis man. Let me not be a mile-post on a single road, but make me a fork that men must turn one way or another in facing Christ in me.”
Jim Elliot

“Those were great days, and great victories were won. We always managed a riot or a revival. Sometimes a riot and no revival, but never a revival without a riot.”
William Nicholson

“Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry?Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die?Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand?Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED?”
Leonard Ravenhill

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight-I’ll fight to the very end!”
William Booth

“Make it an object of constant study, and of daily reflection and prayer, to learn how to deal with sinners so as to promote their conversion.”
Charles G. Finney

“Isn’t it staggering when you think that one sermon on the day of Pentecost produced 3000 people? And we had some cities yesterday where 3000 sermons were preached and nobody was saved. And it doesn’t even faze us.”
Leonard Ravenhill

“Can we go too fast in saving souls? If anyone still wants a reply, let him ask the lost souls in Hell.”
William Booth

“Make it an object of constant study, and of daily reflection and prayer, to learn how to deal with sinners so as to promote their conversion.”
Charles G. Finney

“If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”
Leonard Ravenhill

“Let the victors when they come, When the forts of folly fall, Find thy body near the wall.”
Alfred Buxton

“Let us not glide through this world and then slip quietly into heaven, without having blown the trumpet loud and long for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Let us see to it that the devil will hold a thanksgiving service in hell, when he gets the news of our departure from the field of battle.”
C. T. Studd

“The attitude of the average Christian today is relax and be raptured. But He is coming… and when God gets angry you’ve no idea what it is. Like a thousand volcanoes exploding. He has appointed a day in which He is going to judge the world and the poor blind world doesn’t know much about it and the poor blind church doesn’t think much about it now.”
Leonard Ravenhill

“A preacher who preaches the truth uncompromisingly will be asked “does your preaching always have to be so pointy? Does it always have to be so sharp?” And of coarse the answer is no. He can blunt his message if he’d like and become just as dull as the average preacher.”
Jesse Morrell

“It is not our business to make the message acceptable, but to make it available. We are not to see that they like it, but that they get it.”
Dr. Vance Havner

“We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man’s fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-ax and weapons of war.”
C. H. SPURGEON

“Ministers often preach about the Gospel instead of preaching the Gospel. They often preach about sinners instead of preaching to them.”
Charles Finney

“Christian people, are you figuring round and round to get a little property, yet neglecting souls? Beware lest you ruin souls that can never live again! Do you say — I thought they knew it all? They reply to you, “I did not suppose you believed a word of it yourselves. You did not act as if you did. Are you going to heaven? Well, I am going down to hell! There is no help for me now. You will sometimes think of me then, as you shall see the smoke of my woe rising up darkly athwart the glorious heavens. After I have been there a long, long time, you will sometimes think that I, who once lived by your side, am there. O remember, you cannot pray for me then; but you will remember that once you might have warned and might have saved me.”
Charles G. Finney

“Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the places you can at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can.”
John Wesley

“All roads lead to the judgment seat of Christ.”
Keith Green

“The man whose little sermon is “repent” sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man – “off with his head!” You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven.”
Joseph Parker

“How shall I feel at the judgement, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride.”
Dr. W. E. Sangster

” Whenever, in any century, whether in a single heart or in a company of believers, there has been a fresh effusion of the Spirit, there has followed inevitably a fresh endeavor in the work of evangelizing the world.”
A. J. Gordon

The invasion of the Church by the world is a menace to the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. In all ages conformity to the world by Christians has resulted in lack of spiritual life and a consequent lack of spiritual vision and enterprise. A secularized or self-centered Church can never evangelize the world.”
John R. Mott

“Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus!”
Oswald J. Smith

“Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don’t wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work – to wake people up.”
Catherine Booth

“Brethren, do something; do something, do something! While societies and unions make constitutions, let us win souls. I pray you, be men of action all of you. Get to work and quit yourselves like men. Old Suvarov’s idea of war is mine: `Forward and strike! No theory! Attack! Form a column! Charge bayonets! Plunge into the center of the enemy! Our one aim is to win souls; and this we are not to talk about, but do in the power of God!’”
Charles Spurgeon

“God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell!” Charles Spurgeon

“Oh my friends, we are loaded with countless church activities, while the real work of the church, that of evangelizing and winning the lost is almost entirely neglected.”
Oswald J. Smith

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”
Hudson Taylor

“Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest.”
John Flavel

“I would think it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than mountains of silver and gold to myself.”
Matthew Henry

“How can I help weeping when you will not weep for yourselves, though your immortal souls are on the verge of destruction!”
George Whitfield

“Evermore the Law must prepare the way for the gospel. To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, the introduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the Church with false converts… Time will make this plain.”
Charles Finney

“A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, then we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them.”
Richard Baxter

“Reckon then that to acquire soul-winning power, you will have to go through mental torment and soul distress. You must go into the fire if you are going to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive into the floods if you are going to draw others out of the water. You cannot work a fire escape without feeling the scorch of the conflagration, nor man a lifeboat without being covered with the waves.”
Charles Spurgeon

“It is of no use for any of you to try to be soul-winners if you are not bearing fruit in your own lives. How can you serve the Lord with your lips if you do not serve Him with your lives.? How can you preach His gospel with your tongues, when with hands, feet, and heart you are preaching the devil’s gospel, and setting up an antichrist by your practical unholiness?”
Charles Spurgeon

“We should never stop at having won a soul for Christ. By this, we have done only half the work. Every soul won for Christ must be made to be a soul-winner.”
Richard Wurmbrand