THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OR NOTThine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all"
(1 Chronicles 29:11)Two alternatives confront us, and between them we obliged to choose: either God governs, or He is governed: either God rules, or He is ruled; either God has His way, or men have theirs.
Has God foreordained everything that comes to pass? Has He decreed that what is, was to have been? In the final analysis this is only another way of asking, Is God now governing the world and everyone and everything in it?
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure" (Isa. 46:9, 10)
"The Lord hath made all things for Himself" (Prov. 16:4)God has access to the hearts of all men and He softens or hardens them according to His sovereign purpose. The profane Esau swore vengeance upon his brother for the deception which he had practiced upon his father, yet when next he met Jacob, instead of slaying him we are told that Esau "fell on his neck and kissed him" (Gen. 32:4)"The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will" (Prov. 21:1) Not merely that He may overrule the effects of the actions of wicked, but that He will yet bring the wicked to stand before His judgment. That sentence of punishment may be passed upon them and the multitudes of non-Christians believe these things—but, we mean, that every action of the most lawless of His subjects is entirely beneath His control. That the wicked , though unknown to himself, carrying out the secret decrees of the Most High. Was it not this with Judas? So the wicked are steered do the will of our Father in Heaven.I asked if the Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson could leave a life of crime without God.This is my case and it looks like Mike needs God hand to pull him out of the pit.What do you think??
DOES JAIL TIME CHANGE A MAN?PHOENIX (AP) - Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson was charged Wednesday with drug possession and driving under the influence of drugs, and the Maricopa County prosecutor says he wants to send him to prison.Tyson, 40, was charged with two felonies for drug possession and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of drugs. If convicted of all four charges, he could be sentenced to between 2 1/4 and 7 1/2 years.
The charges stem from his arrest Friday in Scottsdale, where Tyson was pulled over after leaving a nightclub. An officer found bags of cocaine in his back pocket and another in a package of cigarettes in his car, according to court records.CAN A MAN REPENT AND LEAVE A LIFE CRIME WITH OUT GOD WORKING IN THERE LIFE?I say no, what do you say.......I think that even in the unsaved God is in control.....
The Church Must First Repent PART 3WRITEN BY . Edwin OrrAll that has been said about individuals applies with equal force to the larger groups in which individual Christians find themselves a place. The life of the majority of churches and societies is sub-normal, stunted in growth, paralysed instead of powerful. What is the trouble ? It is just general backsliding. The author was once told by an agnostic: "I think I would be a Christian [if it were not] for the Christians." Another man, of communistic views, is reported having said to a parson: "I have a regard for your Jesus, but I am sure I see no connection between Him and the life of your church." Churches, and all other groups of Christians, are just like individuals--either they are growing in grace or else they are backsliding. Such backsliding is often a vicious circle, for spiritual poverty produces worldliness, and worldliness brings greater spiritual poverty. Little by little, the church loses its grip on essential things, becomes a social club, goes to sleep or flies off at a tangent. All over the world we find sleeping churches, and all round them are the gospel-starved masses. Instead of performing the first thing of importance, evangelising the rnasses, they are engaged in a bewildering variety of pastimes--anything but the real thing. It has pleased the Lord to intervene at times to bring back His people to a more normal life. This is called revival. Revival, it must be noted, is solely the concern of believers, and is not an evangelistic campaign as many seem to think, although such a gospel effort may be the outcome of revival among Christians. The greatest need of the churches today is revival. Revival is of course a matter for individuals as well as churches--and in such cases, it is often called 'full surrender', or 'a clean heart', or 'victory over sin',--the term is not of such vast importance provided we recognise that the experience is simply the forsaking of a subnormal experience for the normal Christian life. This is individual revival. Returning to the words of Scripture, we find the message of the Lord blunt and powerful. " I counsel thee..." There is no mistaking what the Lord thinks of that Church. His denunciation; "You say that you stand in need of nothing " is met by an offer of pure gold instead of dross, clothing instead of shame, ointment to cure the blindness. Again...repentance ! What does it mean? Be in earnest, and change your warped mind, change your backslidden heart, change your wrong attitude, change your contrary direction. Repent ! The next exhortation is one of mixed tenderness and urgency; "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with Me." This plea, preached so often with effect to unregenerate sinners, would be even more effective with believers in the Church. It is the Lord Christ Who stands outside the door of the Laodicean Church. He is patiently, tenderly knocking. Few hear Him, and many of those that do are too busy with other things to open the door. And those that are eager to open the door are often hindered by others who stand in the way. Still He is knocking. To the individual, there is wonderful comfort. Christ does not say, " If you persuade all the rest to let Me in----" but rather " If any man hear My voice" Individual responsibility is as great regarding revival as regarding salvation. Letting Christ into the heart means revival for the individual who does it. If "revival is the reception by the church of life abundant," revival is also reception by the individual of the life abundant. Revival has always begun through the obedience of individuals. Four young men, together with individuals scattered throughout the Province, prayed down the Ulster Revival Of 1859. Evan Roberts and other individual servants of God prayed down the Welsh Revival Of 1904. God lit little fires here and there, in individual homes, and when they became numerous the place went on fire. Andrew Gih, listening to a plea made by Paget Wilkes, in Shanghai, did not wait until the rest of China was moved. He opened his heart to revival, and God has been using him as a revivalist ever since. Instances could be multiplied. "If any man hear My voice, I will come in and sup with him, and he with Me." Revival must begin somewhere. It must begin in some heart. Who knows but it might start with You ? Many Christians are waiting for a collective stirring...something which will be labeled "revival" right away. God is waiting for individual stirrings, and He is waiting for you. Get the perspective right. "If any man..."
The Church Must First Repent PART 2WRITEN BY . Edwin OrrIn the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, the word Ekklesia is used along with the Greek for Synagogue to translate the Hebrew Kahal, which fact throws further light on the subject. For Kahal is used variously in the Old Testament to denote a called-out assembly of Israel or of a tribe, or an assembly gathered out for worship.So whether we use the word "Church" to denote the general professing Church, or the actual Church of believers, there are lessons to be learned. It is when we study the message to the Church of the Laodiceans that we find our message. The condition of the Laodicean Church fits our present-day state in Christendom exactly."I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me"Can this be made to apply to the spiritual condition of believers ? Let us see. First of all, Laodicea was an ekklesia, a gathered-out assembly for worship. Secondly, it is suggested that this church was in a peculiar relationship with the Lord, because of the words : "All whom I hold dear, I reprove and chastise.""For whom the Lord loveth," says the writer of Hebrews, " He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."Which makes me think that the rebuke given Laodicea may be fairly applied to believers. Lukewarmness, self-satisfaction., halfheartedness, backsliding, formalism, indifference, self righteousness, greed for gold, worldliness, pride, self-deception, spiritual destitution, blindness and lack of vision, easily-seen-through--these are the characteristics of Laodicea, and these are the characteristics abounding to-day. What would anyone think of an individual who possessed all these characteristics ...surely the greatest backslider living! But examine the position collectively. Are there any lukewarm Christians in your church ?Any self-satisfied ? Any indifferent ? Any self-righteous ? Any backsliding? Any formalistic ? Any half-hearted ? Any greedy after lucre ? Any worldly ? Any proud ? Any self-deceived ?Any spiritually destitute ?Any without vision ? Any shameless ? Put together they look rather bad. If the majority of your church members share a majority of these indications of spiritual poverty, then your church is a Laodicean church. And if the majority of churches in your district are thus backslidden, then everything said to Laodicea applies to your neighbourhood. What would you do with an individual Christian who was thus backslidden in heart and life ? You would first pray for him. You would seek to show him his need. You would seek to make him concerned about his need. You would point out to him the life more abundant. You would tell him that Calvary means power, and that Christ will restore. So what do you think of your Church... And can we label them
The Church Must First Repent PART ONE
by J. Edwin Orr"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)The occurrence of the word "Repent" in the messages to the Seven Churches is truly remarkable. The word "Repentance" -- in the mind of the average Christian--is connected with sinners and not with professing Christians. And yet the word used throughout the New Testament in the presentation of the Gospel message to sinners is exactly the same word repeated by our Lord in His messages to the Seven Churches. The word "Repent" occurs over seven times in these seven messages. It is omitted from two of them--Smyrna, the poor, persecuted Church--for a church in persecution is generally a purified one, and Philadelphia, the loyal Church, the Church that had kept the faith. The noun "metanoia" (repentance) is defined variously as a change of mind, a change of heart, a change of attitude, or a change of direction. With this information borne in mind, let us examine the uses of the verb in the Revelation. 1. In the first message, Ephesus is described as an energetic church, patiently laboring for God, and perfectly sound in doctrine. "I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast labored, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent..." 2. The (third) message to Pergamos complains of their eating of meat sacrificed to idols, of fornication committed, and of the holding of the hated doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. "Repent!" 3. Thyatira is likewise rebuked in the fourth message. And again repentance is urged. 4. The dying Church of Sardis is again commanded to repent. 5. And Laodicea is urged to repent as well. Before we come to the application of these messages, it is appropriate that we should consider the nature of the word "Church" for the simple reason that many people repudiate it as applying to a really Christian Church. "Ekklesia" the word used, may be interpreted "assembly" or "gathering of called-out ones", or "convention " in the best sense of the word (being convened). It occurs more than a hundred times in the New Testament, and is always translated "Church" with the exception of the instances regarding the Civic Assembly in Ephesus. Are we repenting or maybe we do not need to....... You make the call.....Does a life have to change to be save or is that just works?What do you think......
Do you have a problem?Copyright by Phillip L. SimpsonThe meaning of the John's first epistle has been fairly uniformly understood throughout the centuries. However, this epistle presents a problem for the "free grace" theologian. The problem is this: John appears to be stating plainly throughout the book that there are tests which reveal whether one is a child of God or not. Some of these tests include:
Notice how some of these tests are doctrinal, and others are behavioral.
- Whether we love the brothers (2:10, 3:10, 3:14, 4:7),
- Walk in the light (1:7),
- Keep His commandments (2:3-4),
- Walk in the same way in which he walked (2:6),
- Continue on in fellowship with other believers (2:19),
- Confess the Son (2:23),
- Practice righteousness (2:29; 3:10),
- Confess that Jesus has come in the flesh (4:2),
- Listen to the apostolic teaching (4:6),
- Receive the Spirit (4:13),
- Confess that Jesus is the Son of God (4:15),
- Believe that Jesus is the Christ (5:1),
- Overcome the world (5:4).
Remember that the tests given by John are both behavioral and doctrinal. While "free grace" teachers insist the behavioral tests are indicators of our fellowship status with God (rather than tests of possession of eternal life), what about the doctrinal tests? Does John give these to determine our fellowship status? Is believing that Jesus has come in the flesh (1 John 4:2) only a sign of a mature Christian who is in fellowship with God? Can a believer deny this truth and still be a believer--albeit "out of fellowship"? No; rather, John was refuting Gnostic heresy in 1 John; therefore, a doctrinal affirmation was critical if his readers were to know if they believed in Christ savingly or not.
Free Grace Theology vs. The Bible
The Boston Christian Bible Study Resources
"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raise up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." 2Corinthians 10:5
Many times the Bible warns Christians to not be deceived, indicating that it is possible for you as a Christian to be deceived. Let me give you examples of the kinds of things Christians may be deceived about:
1Cor 6:9,10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Ephesians 5:5,6 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person— such a man is an idolater— has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
James 1:15,16 after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
1John 3:7,8 Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.
These are all warnings against what has classically been labeled "Antinomian Theology", which today has evolved into what is called "Free Grace Theology".
Free Grace Theology is the idea:
That "Faith in Christ" means faith in Christ as Savior, but accepting Christ as Lord is optional.
related to which is also the misconception concerning Rev 3:20 - inviting Christ into your life.
That the faith that is acceptable to God for salvation is a non-application oriented mental assent to ideas.
That repentance is viewed simply a "change of mind" without necessarily any change of behavior
That there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status
That the object of faith is one's own assurance of salvation, and thus one should never doubt or question whether they are saved or not.
And "Free Grace" theology sees a distinction between the New Testament expressions "entering the kingdom" (being saved) and "inheriting the kingdom" (reigning). If these are the things you have been led to believed, then you have been deceived.
Please see this site... http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/freegrace.html