Here Comes the Judge Part 4

The Sentencing:   

DEATH!  YOU ARE SENTENCED TO DEATH

The Sentence: “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23, Gen 2:17)

Death – in Bible means (separation) Gen: 2:17 Man experienced the first death. (When Eve took of the tree of life it introduced death to mankind.)

Physical Death- separation of the person from the body.

Spiritual death- separation of the person from God.

Eternal separation of the un-repentant sinner to Hell.

And now there is an announcement in the court.

YOUR SENTENCE HAS BEEN PAID – YOU ARE FREE.     You can go free.  Your sentence has been paid by the judge.  The judge has taken your place.  Your offenses have been forgiven. The indictment is sealed.  

OH MY!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME????   The Judge took my sentence.  How do I deserve that?  Could that be possible? 

Oh yes, it is so. Jesus was put to death on the cross for you.  He paid the price for your sins and the sins of all mankind.  

The Judge paid the sentence. Amazing!!! 

The Miracle “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) This is Justification, The Gift of God is Eternal Life.

The nature of this miracle, it is free… “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 3:24)– “Justified Freely”- without a cause. Because of his Holy grace.

The persons in the miracle, He for you. – God sent forth… “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Romans 3:25) This word PROPITIATION is very important. It’s a Biblical word that we don’t often use in our vocabulary.  It means that an atonement has been made through a sacrifice of blood.  A sacrifice of Christs blood and His death on the cross has saved us.

  1. Satan- fought it
  2. Father – wrought it (shaped, fashioned, hammered out)
  3. Holy Spirit- taught it                   1 – 3 is the Justification miracle.
  4. Son- bought it

See the trinity at work?

5. Rich Man (Nicodemus) – sought it

6. Thief on the cross- caught it

7. I’ve Got it!

Saved! Saved! Saved!

The source of the miracle (3:24,28)      Freely by His grace (v. 24)   By faith (v.28)   Without the deeds of the law (v. 28)

The scope of the miracle- “Unto All”- unlimited (Rom. 3:22,29- John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him shall not parish but have everlasting life.”

The Bestowal of this miracle – limited (Rom. 3:22,26) Only to those that believe.

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (v24) God does this freely because of His grace and love for me, I am an undeserving sinner and I have been made an heir of His glorious kingdom to spend eternity in His glorious presence in the fullness of joy and pleasure for evermore. Amen! 

If you have never, as of yet understood “Justification.”  Please understand it now.  Justification is a one-time act of God and an extremely important doctrine.  Sanctification is a continual process until you are taken to be with the Lord. We will talk Sanctification another time.  Understand this Justification by Faith Alone doctrine first.

Because man’s condition was totally ruined by sin, salvation is based on a truly remarkable principle.  We are justified freely by His grace.  Pay close attention to the words “justified,” “freely” and “grace,” those three words summarize how God meets ruined man’s needs.

“Justification is the legal and formal acquittal from guilt by God as the Judge, and the pronouncement of the believing sinner as righteous in His sight. This verb is in the present and continuous sense and shows a constant process of justification in the succession of all who believe and are justified.” Can you see the difference between being forgiven and being justified? When you are saved you can plead not guilty and your case is dismissed. The Lord Jesus has fully discharged all our obligations so there is no legal ground for charges to be pressed on us anymore. We have a perfect standing before God and are fully acceptable in His sight. And we are justified freely, he does not charge us anything. “By His grace.” Just to be clear… Grace is unmerited favor. It is getting something we do not deserve. How remarkable!!! 

I think it’s important to clarify this as well.

Salvation is free, but it is not cheap.  It cost God his only begotten son and it cost Jesus the agony of dying on the cross. The blood Christ shed for us is very precious.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1: 18-19) The cost of Calvary is far beyond any human comprehension. It is!   

The witnesses of this miracle. “Witnessed by the law and the prophets.” (Rom. 3:21) It is totally scriptural. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27) “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise” (Heb. 11:39) “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.” (1 Pet. 1:10) – Prophesied of the grace.

The Legal accomplishments of the miracle – To reconcile God’s justice and God’s mercy by a mediator or bridge. We said it before, God set forth Christ to be a propitiation. (Romans 3:25) The sinner must be condemned, God wants to save the sinner.

The harmony between law and grace can be seen in the miracle. Do we need to keep the law? Yes, The Law cannot justify us but by following it but the Law can bring us to despair and cause us to take Gods alternative of committing ourselves to faith in Christ. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:31)

The Bible is not the record of man searching after God, but it’s the record of God searching after man.

The judge died for the defendants.

It’s a miracle- The just dying for the unjust.

The three major Imputations of the Bible.  Impute= add to     1. Adams sin was Imputed to the human race. 2.  My sin and yours was Imputed to Jesus Christ.  3. God’s Righteousness was Imputed to all Believers.

The miracle of Justification is that we are sinners and Christ died for us. We are justified with His blood.

Because of Justification we have Hope.  Our hope concerns the future. Something good in the future, something possible in the future- the coming again of Jesus Christ. That is our hope.

(Romans 5:6-11) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Back in the days of Moses the High Priest went to the Holy of Holies once a year.  Because of Justification we have access to the Throne of God immediately.  We don’t need to wait. I don’t need to provide a sacrifice.  My sacrifice was already offered by the savior Jesus Christ.

Let me be clear however,

Justification is only for “him which believeth in Jesus.”  I cannot say that strong enough.  Please hear me…

God justifies only those who believe in Jesus.  Everyone believes in something and everyone serves someone.  THE ONLY BELIEF THAT COUNTS WITH GOD IS BELIEF IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

I have the invitation. You have the invitation.  If you haven’t accepted it do it now.

Don’t ever forget the Judge paid your fine.  The Judge took your punishment.  It is the only Judge that will ever do that for you.  Enter the Kingdom. Tell Jesus you believe, you understand you are sinner and want to be saved by his grace.  Ask Him into your heart to save you from the chains of Hell.

God bless you all in the pursuit of Him,

The Tubthumper

Here Comes the Judge Part 3

The Defense 

We hear the Pagan Man’s defense.  – He thinks he should be acquitted on grounds of ignorance.

The Plea of ignorance is rendered and the plea gets refuted- because he has the gift of conscience, nature, etc.  Men seem to put human reasoning on the throne and place Devine revelation in the basement.  What a mistake.

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:19-22)

We also hear the Moral Man’s defense. (Rom. 2: 1-16)  He makes a comparison- he is not as bad as the Pagan.

The plea gets rendered – the Moral man thinks he is a good person.

The plea is refuted- “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

The moral man underestimates the awesome knowledge of God.

The plea gets reviewed.  It is determined there is indifference to the forbearance and goodness of God. God’s forbearance is holding back his wrath, His goodness is His grace.

Religious Man’s defense.  (Rom. 2:17-3:8) He says, “I know the Law.” (I teach courses in religion.)

His plea gets rendered. His plea is refuted.

His plea is reviewed. (They don’t practice what they preach.)

The Jew had a National advantage but no spiritual advantage.  The Bottom Line- the Law could not save them, Circumcision could not save them and birthright could not save them.

Like so many people today in Christendom, they look at themselves like they belong to the church of Christ and they are heirs of Heaven simply because they were baptized at a baby. (A little sprinkle of water on the forehead.) And the Jew thinks that circumcision gave him a special status with God. A mere religious ordinance will not profit the soul without a vital and personal experience with Christ. It is circumcision of the heart that matters.

God see’s all—you cannot commit an undetected crime.

Smile because God loves you, but, Fear, for God will someday Judge you. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God’s Wrath.

On to the trial of the Ages!

Back in the courthouse of Law.

The Charge- High Treason

The Defendants- Pagan Man, Moral Man and Religious Man

The detailed indictment:

The Jury- 4 members – Conscious Man, Deeds Man, Works Man and Law of God Man.

The Defense

Based on testimony from expert witnesses: A search was launched throughout Heaven and no man was found worthy.  None righteous, not one. As it is written “All have sinned and come short the Glory of God.”  No fear of God, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:18)

None were righteous, none understood, none were seeking God.

Not even Mary was righteous, she was the very first to call Jesus Savior. (Luke 1:47)  She needed to be saved like all sinners. We all need the Savior!

The VERDICT: GUILTY, all are GUILTY!

Man’s Character is Sinful.

“They are all of them gone out of the way. They are together become unprofitable; there is none that is doing good, no, not one” (Rom 3:12)

In other words they have chosen to go some other way than the way of God.

“There is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Sin = Hamartia– (ham-ar-tee’-ah) TO MISS THE MARK– that which is done wrong, sin, an offense, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act.   Man misses the target.

Man murders his brother and mocks his God.  “their feet are swift to shed blood” You see murder was always in the heart of man.  Nothing new and killing is a heart problem and cannot be blamed on anything else.

Man originally was good but has gone bad since Adam.

Man’s conversation is sinful. 

And now Paul the court recorder is quoting from the Psalms. “Their throat is an open sepulcher, with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:13-18)

We see here God’s indictment – God is declaring that mans condition is apart from God.   Man has no connection to the Lord.

The sting of a vicious viper…

The stink from a tomb…

Cursing and bitterness…

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

GUILTY!  GUILTY!  GUILTY! 

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Revelation 5)

MAN IS GUILTY AS CHARGED! 

 

Come back for the last post as the sentencing occurs.

We will see what the sentence is

And we will see the most amazing thing happen

In the “Trial of the Ages!”

God bless you all,

The Tubthumper

 

 

 

Here Comes the Judge, Part 2

The Court Proceeding

The Charge  

HIGH TREASON!  You are charged with High Treason against God.  A very serious charge… not against your country but against God! The Savior will be the judge.

It’s the Creator against His creatures. (Sinful) The defendants are the humans that God made and God the creator is the prosecution.

Jesus is the judge.  Not the Father, but the Lord Jesus. The Father entrusts Jesus to judge.  Whom He hath ordained & raised from the dead.

The defendants:

           Moral man- the heathen, they enthrone human reasoning and dethrone divine revelation.  Becoming consciously irreligious and consequently irrational. Basically it’s their darkened heart. He becomes conceited and foolish, or rather- very stupid.

           Pagan man- the hypocrite, thinks other people’s sins are worse than their own.  They compare themselves to others and think they are high and mighty.  They flatter themselves but foolishly are measuring themselves to the wrong standard. God’s standard of measurement is the Law and the sin of the hypocrite is that of being indignant at the shortcomings of others while being indulgent of his own. The hypocrite places himself on very thin ice. He faces the judgement of God himself.  “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Romans 2: 5-6)

            Religious man- the Hebrew, False religious systems enslave people both sensually and spiritually.  All were charged with High Treason. This is the man with a powerless religion. Mere orthodoxy in religion does not make a person more acceptable to God. Having access to an open Bible will greatly increase a person’s responsibility in the sight of God.  A persons access to the truth will increase their accountability to the truth. “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” (V.13) “The Truth shall set you free!”

Let’s review the detailed indictments: (V. 21-32)

First Indictment – (V.21) Ingratitude, not thankful for creation or redemption. And Pride, they had a heart problem.  Thankful people are not prideful and a lack of thanks leads to Apostacy.  Self-will and Pride both seem to be severe sins in the Bible. Lucifer and Adam had those traits. The Antidote for Pride is Thanksgiving.

Second Indictment– (V.22) An unsanctified philosophy, insolent fools- professing themselves as wise they became fools- morons. It’s a fool that says in his heart, there is no God. Let’s face it folks people are right now further away from God now than ever before. Man is self-sufficient. God is dead they say. But there is a reckoning coming.

Third Indictment– (V.23) They turned away from God and preferred idols. Man, birds, beasts and creeping things. They made God like man. They thought of God in terms of man.  They sought to bring God down to man’s level. It was man seeking to corrupt God.

Fourth Indictment– (V.24-27) Sexual Perversions, homosexuality, lesbianism, vile affections, everything under imagination… “God also gave them up to uncleanness [or filthiness] through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: for they changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” (Rom 1:24-25).

Fifth Indictment– (V.28-32) Incorrigibility, a reprobate mind, not convenient, depraved. “For this cause God gave them up to unnatural affections: for even their women did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men doing that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was necessary. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are [unspeakable,] not convenient, [not proper]” (Rom 1:26-28)

  1. Fornication
  2. Wickedness- (Mentioned 360 times in the Bible.)
  3. Covetousness- (the one of the 10 Commandments impossible to keep)
  4. Maliciousness- (unusual cruelty)
  5. Envy- (unlawful desire of something or someone)
  6. Murder- (the only sin that can never be forgiven by the victim)
  7. Debate- (contention or strife)
  8. Deceit- (bait or snare)
  9. Malignity- (harbored hatred)
  10. Whisperers- (secret slander- “devil” means “to slander”
  11. Back Biters- (open slander)
  12. God haters.
  13. Despiteful- (insolence and insulting)
  14. Proud- (with a swagger)
  15. Boasters- (in word)
  16. Inventors of Evil- (torture and evil intentions)
  17. Disobedient to Parents- (The beginning of Anarchy)
  18. Without understanding- (Blindness of the heart and “darkened” Eph 4:18-19)
  19. Covenant breakers- (their word is worthless)
  20. Without natural affection- (without love)
  21. Implacable – (2 Tim. 3) (unforgiving, unsparing and unappeasable)
  22. Unmerciful

No one has an excuse. All are guilty before God.  As John said, man is “condemned already”, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18) 

The Jury

            Conscience of man (1:19) – Conscience is a goad but not always a guide. The conscience must be educated and monitored by the Word of God.

“Because that which may be known of God is manifested in them; for God hath shown it unto them.” (Rom 1:19) God has inscribed certain things into our hearts. We know what is right and we know what is wrong. God has shown it unto us. That’s what the word manifested means. We have Intellect- we know whether an action is right or wrong.  We have Sensibility – what would I like to do about it?

We have a Conscience- what should I do about it? The question is what shape is your conscience in?

An evil conscience, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:22)

A defiled conscience, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Titus 1:15) “guilty”

A weak conscience, ” Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” (1 Cor. 8) A bit immature- don’t have all the facts.

A good conscience, ” And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1) – This is what we want.

A seared conscience, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Tim. 4:2)  This is the worst.

What a devastating day it will be when God calls into the light all the hidden works of darkness. We all have guilty secrets, things we have done which we should not have done and things we didn’t do that we should have done. Those secrets will not be overlooked or forgotten by God.  One day it will all be exposed.  “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16)

               The Will– what I am going to do about it.

The deeds of man- good deeds cannot save anyone. “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Rom 2:6)

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment”. (Matt. 12:36)

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20: 11-15)

The Works of God. The invisible God is revealed through His creation and the Heavens declare the Glory of God. (Rom. 1:19-20

The Law of God. “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves.” (Rom. 2: 12-14)

We have seen the charge, looked at the  defendants, the indictments and the jury.

Join me next time as we look at the defense and continue in

the Trial of the Ages.

God bless you all,

The Tubthumper.

Here Comes the Judge, Part 1

The Trial of the Ages.

Please allow me to set the stage here.  We are about to witness a major trial and we are in the Court House. Can you see the Jury in your mind and the two attorneys about to argue the case?

We are in the courthouse of Law.

We have a trial in progress.

We need to introduce the Court Reporter.  It’s the Apostle Paul.  He comes with good credentials.

Paul declared the righteousness of God in these passages and it’s really what the book of Romans is all about.

  1. God is Righteous!
  2. God demands Righteousness!
  3. God provides Righteousness!

There must be a basis of righteousness in order for sin to be forgiven. If a judge wants to totally dismiss the charges against a guilty person he can but that’s not righteous.  So God can’t simply tell you, “You are forgiven.”  Not without that righteous basis. FOR GOD IS RIGHTEOUS!

For your sins to be forgiven there must be that Righteous Basis. And where is that basis found?  It is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The sinner was sentenced to death (SINFUL MAN) and God established that righteous basis because Jesus Christ became the substitute.  He took your sin upon Himself and He died in your place.  It’s trading the righteous for the unrighteous. You are forgiven! He took your place!  He died for you!

The righteousness of God is revealed from FAITH TO FAITH. As it is written,

“THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Verse 17.

And then we also see the WRATH OF GOD… which we will look at during the trial.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18)

Let’s look quick at the very first verse in the book of Romans:

“Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.” (Romans 1:1)

So he was a servant… a bondslave… Paul was not his own person after being called. WE ARE NOT OUR OWN PERSON- WE BELONG TO CHRIST- HE PURCHASED US.  We are debtors to everyone unsaved once we become a Saint and become separated unto the gospel.

He was called apostle.  He was DECLARED! HE WAS SENT FORTH! In order to be an Apostle you must have seen the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul saw Jesus at least 7 times that we know of.  And God called him directly. Keep in mind this is now 25 years after Paul first came to Christ.  And he said, “Who art thou, Lord, that I may serve thee?” 25 years later he is still saying I am a bondslave!  I am an Apostle. He made his calling and his election sure. We should do the same… whatever it is that God calls us to do we should do. Nothing more nothing less. Whether it’s to be a greeter or bass guitar player or a preacher.  Whatever it is just do it.

My birth was no accident— Your birth was no accident— God desires to work the good works through his servants. (Bondslaves) He separated us unto the Gospel to do for Him…

Do you know the will of God for your life?  I want you to know that 90% of determining the will of God is being willing to DO-IT.  So just do it.

Separated unto the Gospel of God. – We are first separated from our mother’s womb and then separated from sin and the world to Christ as Paul is explaining.

Paul let us know in the written word the Gospel is not new and it’s still not new. (IF IT’S NEW IT AINT TRUE)

Paul presented the message of the Gospel right up front as he began to share the court record. Christ is the center of the Gospel message and Paul introduces Christ in a threefold way.

  1. He is the REVEALED ONE, the one “Promised Afore” (v.2), for the Gospel of God has its roots deep into the Old Testament.
  2. He is the REIGNING ONE, He is “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (v.3) The New Testament opens and closes with Jesus referred to as the “Son of David.”
  3. He is the RESURRECTED ONE, the one “Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (v.4)

It is all about Christ’s DeityJesus was 100 % God, 100% Man, 100% of the time.   And Paul is making that clear.

Paul had complete confidence in the Gospel because of its sufficiency and its supremacy.  He wrote, “It is the power of God unto salvation.”

John Phillips in his commentary on Romans wrote, “The world does not need a better system of education, more social reform or new ideas in religion.  IT NEEDS THE GOSPEL! The Gospel message grips the mind, it stabs the conscience, it warms the heart, it saves the soul, and it sanctifies the life.  It can make drunken (or drugged) men sober, crooked men straight and profligate women pure. It is a message sufficient to transform the life of any who believe.”

“IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION “TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH.”  Could anything be any simpler than that?  It is simple, trust in God’s Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal savior from sin. Simple as that!

The Just shall live by Faith.

The Gospel MUST be received by FAITH.

Habakkuk 2:4- The Just shall live by Faith.

Romans 1:17- The Just shall live by Faith.

Galations 3:11- The Just shall live by Faith.

Hebrews 10:38- The Just shall live by Faith.

THE COURT RECORD

Lets look at the COURT RECORD– First 3 Chapters of Romans.

If you look around, it’s even likely here within our group, there are two kinds of people throughout the world.

  • People that have been delivered from the Wrath of God because they have sought God’s righteousness.
  • Everyone else, whom the wrath of God abides upon.

Paul indicated that those that are called and delivered from the wrath of God are to be called Saints. (v.7) This is not some special class of people within the church, but it describes all that have trusted Christ as their savior.  It means, “One set apart for God.”

You are either a Saint or a Sinner. More appropriate is to say a sinning saint or just a sinner for no one is righteous, no not one.  I am a Saint, but… I am also a sinner.

J Vernon McGee used to say, “There are two kinds of People in the world, The Saints and The Aints” 

During this trial God’s righteousness will be revealed, but then God’s Wrath will also be revealed.  Throughout the New Testament we see both God’s Righteousness and God’s Wrath.

God’s Righteousness was/is revealed to man by Nature, Human Conscience and by Human History. There is no excuse for being unaware of God.

God’s Wrath was/is revealed by His Word, the Natural World, and by The Cross.

Paul lets us know that the bad news of human sin comes before the good news of salvation.  “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (V. 18)

Paul said Gods wrath is revealed for three reasons: First it’s revealed because of human ungodliness, second because of human unrighteousness, and third because of human unbelief.

I think it important to give some clear definitions at this point:

Wrath of God: Please note God’s wrath is not due to Anger on His part, it is a reaction to unrighteousness. The wrath of God is His judgment regarding sin and is a standard that reveals His displeasure toward sin.

Ungodliness: Having the wrong attitude toward God and having spiritual failure.

Unrighteousness: The wrong conduct toward God and fellow man and moral failure.

Stay tuned for the “TRIAL OF THE AGES.”

 

Join me in the next post as we proceed on to the court record as the trial begins…

God bless you,

The Tubthumper

 

To Act or Not: Part 2

Actsgathering3Is it appropriate to attempt to be an “Acts Church” today by using the book of Acts as a guide?
Yes and No… let me explain. Certainly the ten points I outlined in the last post will be a great resource to follow and I support the use of them. In fact our churches won’t be too successful without doing those 10 things. So yes, I say we should follow the guide and do our best to carry it out. We need to keep in mind however the differences in culture and their community compared to ours. Without intense study of the culture in Jerusalem at that time in history it would be impossible to understand the vast differences. The response to leadership was different and some things done today were completely forbidden. There was also specific revelation occurring from God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The early converts were praying like we can’t even imagine and God was responding. I believe this issue of prayer is one of our problems but that is another subject. ActsChurchThe early church was almost completely a made up of Jewish people before it spread to the Gentiles. (Officially in Acts 15) Our community is much more diverse. Things were done much different back then compared to now and the world mindset was different. I remember a guy saying to me, “Ok, that was the church for then but I want to experience our church for now.” We can be an Acts church but must modify for our contemporary times. It would be impossible to do everything exactly as the Apostles did in the early church.
Secondly I think there is more that God wants us to follow and the Bible provides it. I think if we add Ephesians to the Acts Church we have a winner of a blueprint to work from. We must not exclude the teachings of Timothy, Titus and others.
We know that the primary job of the Church is the ‘Great Commission’ of Matthew 28:16-20) which theoretically is a three part process. One is to make disciples, second is to baptize them, and third we must, “teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” The Church leaders must see to it that disciples are being made. It is their our principle responsibility.
How are disciples made? They are created through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone does not do the same job in the process. Some disciple, some evangelize, some teach, etc… No need to feel guilt if you can’t do everything well. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
A major part of the blueprint for Church today is Ephesians 4:10-16. The main function of the church leaders is to equip the saints for the work of service. And every Christian is a saint, just call me Saint Frank. Church leaders are to be intimately involved in equipping each and every saint. The body of Christ is built up through the process of equipping. So the purpose of leaders is to equip Christians for ministry and not to replace them. The purpose of equipping members for service is so the body can be built up and the ‘Unity of the Body’ can only be achieved through every Christian ministering and supplying the body. When each individual is functioning properly the body builds itself up in love and unity. It will be self-perpetuating because God guaranteed it. The bottom line is that Churches will grow when we as Christians use our Spiritual Gifts in service to the body of Christ.
We need to be careful because looking at other churches through the ages and how other people are doing things has led to decline in Christianity. Churches that are dying are usually mired in tradition or off the path and unwilling to change. We need to be looking at scripture and reading scripture. We need to also be on our knees in prayer. God’s word has all the answers and it is not only in the book of Acts. Albeit Acts is a great place to be and I don’t want to diminish its importance.
The basic point we must remember is that with a guide or not, the church is built up on disciples that are willing to take up their cross and die for the Lord if need be. (Matthew 16:24)
I think I will close with a thought on this church leadership issue: We will all stand before God some day and answer to Him. Many Church Leaders will stand before God and be asked what they were told to do and if they completed it. Many won’t know what He is talking about and won’t be able to say they obeyed. He will ask if they warned the disciples about their accountability for their instructions in the Word. Not many leaders are reading the Word of God any more. The wrath of God will be visited upon disobedient disciples, and will be visited upon negligent church leaders because it is their responsibility to, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30) Church leadership comes with an awesome responsibility. Woe to those who scatter my sheep.
Blessings for your day through Christ,

The Tubthumper

  1 Stephen Parker, Church Growth Crisis: The Decline of Christianity in America (Oklahoma City, OK: Forever Family Publications, 2011).

 

To Act or Not: Should we use the Acts Church as the guide?

church-model080211A lot of people these days believe the church should be trying to do exactly what the early church did in Acts. This is actually where all the small group craze came from.  Much of the church growth movement is keyed on this principle as well. So do I think mimicking the Acts Church is how we should do things? Yes and no… You see, the Bible has a lot of information on what God wants the Church to do. We have Acts but we also have Ephesians, Timothy, Titus and more. Let us look at this closer beginning with some points about Acts.

There is no question , the early church gave a good model. Acts 2:47 says, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Some experts have estimated the church in Jerusalem had over 100,000 members. That is larger than many cities.

There are many important principles to follow for Church government. Here are ten examples:
1) Churches should rely on the Holy Spirit’s power. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Church members should have the Lord Jesus controlling their lives. They must let the Holy Spirit take control. Leaning on the Holy Spirit is mostly what is needed.
2) Churches today must nurture a warm fellowship. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common.” (Acts 2:42-44) With a warm, loving and inviting environment new Christians can be loved and grow in the word.
3) Church members must meet together to study the Bible. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) They used the temple courts and they met house to house. Both types of meetings occurred. So we must meet at church and we must break bread together and study in our homes.
4) Churches must expand the vision of God. He is in Control. “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is.” (Acts 4:24) We already know the Church will survive and Satan is already defeated. Fear thou not because we have all the resources and strength we need. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Christ will build His church!
5) Churches must harness the power of prayer like they did in Acts. From the beginning there has been a spiritual battle going on. Spiritual battles are fought on our knees. Jesus said, “This house will be a house of prayer.” Our Church is to be a house of prayer. In Acts it says, “they prayed” 48 times. Churches need to pray like they prayed in Acts. Churches need God’s power to make us different from the world. (Acts 1:3-4, 14)
6) Churches should be united, generous, loving, and charitable. Our church should be a giving church. The church in Acts was a giving church. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold.” (Acts 4:32-34) We all need to be united and with one mind. Our church should be the place that the needy are cared for. We should learn how to sacrifice for others like the early church did. We should be a powerful testimony to our community. (Acts 2:44-45)
7) Churches must involve everyone in ministry. We find in Acts chapter 6 how this was done. The apostles found men that were specifically shaped and called for ministry. An example is ‘Greek men to minister to Greek widows.’ No one pastor can do everything. God and the Holy Spirit gifts the entire church. The Pastor feeds the flock through preaching and teaching. The rest is up to others. Our churches need to be able to help people discover their Spiritual gifts and then plug them in. The early church sent people out on mission is the community to add to the growth. Don’t allow people to come and just sit on the sidelines. Use the talents and gifts they bring. Not just any people can minister, however, as the position of Deacon is to be filled with men who are currently full of the Holy Spirit. Not one that was filled at one time, but one filled with the Holy Spirit now. Deacons can bless the body and they can bless the Elders by allowing the Elders to devote more time to the Bible and to prayer. Deacons are “hands on” – somewhat a “Buildings and Grounds” people. As they grow they could be appointed to Elder positions. God wants leaders full of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, unity, prayer and to stand in agreement. God raises these people up.
8) Churches need to read the Bible and be devoted to the word. It should be heard from the pulpit, it should be read, it should be memorized and it should be meditated on. The only thing that can change lives in our churches today is the Gospel and the Word of God. We need to be devoted to reading the Bible. (Acts 2:14-40)
9) Churches should love and worship with joy. In the early church they practiced Koinonia. What that means is they would fellowship with one another. They were committed to one another and loved one another. Our church members need to protect, care and help one another unlike the world. We also should celebrate Christ together. Church should be enjoyable and we should express our emotion in Church letting go and worshiping with joy. (Acts 2:42, 46-47)
10) Churches should be reaching out to the community for Jesus Christ. The early church reached people for Christ daily. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:40-41) Evangelism is commanded and we are told to be a witness throughout the world.

Can it work to try and mimic the Acts Church? In the next post I will give you my opinion and expand on what I think we should doing with our church structure.

To go part 2 just click HERE. 

In Christ,

The Tubthumper

 

_____________________________________________________

Steve Davis, Spiritual Leadership Examples from the Book of Acts., http://http:www.stevedavis.org/12%20examples%20from%20the%20book%20of%20Acts.html
Rick Warren, How to Have an Acts Church, http://www.christianpost.com/news/how-to-have-an-acts-church-42320/ (accessed May 1, 2014).

Hell Yes It’s Real, Conclusion

ItisuptoyouCONCLUSION

The Whole Counsel of God

The thought that God will punish eternally in Hell the lost sinners that do not repent and turn to Him is certainly not in style these days.  All Christians should be teaching the truth about Hell.  Hell holds a special place in the Biblical worldview and Hell stands for the opposite of what the contemporary secular worldview stands for. Hell is connected directly to the doctrine of God, and Jesus Christ the Son, the atonement for sin. Hell serves to give humanity a gauge of morality and points to the responsibility we have as God’s creatures to live in His image.  Hell is real and Hell is there for the punishment of the sins of mankind. It is understandable that so many people want to avoid the subject of Hell and to soften it.  Hell should be offensive to our moral senses. It should literally scare the “Hell” out of us. We should be sorrowful that someone we know will suffer the horror and our hearts should break.  Our hearts should be breaking because of the awfulness of sin that sends people to Hell. The very thought of sin should repulse us and help to keep us from that awful place.  Christians need to seek and to proclaim the whole counsel of God.  The whole counsel of God includes the doctrine of Hell and this doctrine needs to be proclaimed to all people, godly or worldly and both Christian and non-Christian.  The truth will set you free.[1]

The lost and unbelievers have a lot to fear and tremble about according to the words of Jesus Christ.  They may die now, in this age in great honor and leaving their family with great wealth. What about eternity?  It would be good to ponder what God can see because God looks upon the heart.  There will be the day when God will raise up the wicked, the lost, and the unbelievers to face Him in judgment.  When he completes the judgment and renders the sentence He will banish them out of His presence forever and to a place that Jesus compares to fire and to deep darkness like has never been experienced. Those lost unbelievers will watch as the saved go with God to their eternal reward. Those lost unbelievers will suffer with “weeping and gnashing of teeth” but it is too late then.  It is done.[2] The choice was made and the life that was lived was no trial run. It was the real deal.  And Hell is for real. 

Because death is real we can be sure Hell is real.  The only reason death comes to humans is because of sin. If Adam hadn’t fallen and there were no sin in the world there would not be any death. The testimony of the presence of physical death should be a testimony to all of us that the unseen reality of a “second death” as the Bible calls it in revelation 20:14, is a reality.  This reality is not going to disappear simply because our culture today wants to ignore it.  As Evans states, “Hell is the expression of God’s settled, external, unchanging wrath against sin. (Revelation 21:8; 22; 15)[3]

Thinking of Hell has the reaction of paralyzing some people.  I suppose that is why so many deny, ignore or oppose its existence.  They don’t want to carry on with life being constantly reminded of fire and brimstone and torment.  But, take notice; we really aren’t supposed to carry on as normal and like the rest of the world.  The reality of Hell and the urgency to do something so we won’t end up there is supposed to impassion us for the gospel.  “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:11) Hell could paralyze us or it can energize us and magnify the beautiful cross of Christ. Believe and live![4]

The Great Gulf between Heaven and Hell

There is a point in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus that should not be missed.  It is the vast amount of space (the gulf) between Heaven and Hell. Every person will go to one place or the other and once you are at your destination all the bridges are burned behind you.  There is no way then to go back.  No road or bridge between Heaven and hell.[5]  From the depths of Hell the condemned can see those in heaven and know the separation but not the other way around.  The Bible says in Heb. 9:27, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”  As said before, this life is not a trial run and there will be no second chance. An exhortation is appropriate to not procrastinate. Tomorrow may never come for you.

Francis Chan wrote, “We have become dangerously comfortable- believers ooze with wealth and let their addictions to comfort and security numb the radical urgency of the gospel.  What is encouraging is that there seems to be a growing number of American believers who recognize this and are making changes. I would love for Jesus to grace me with those words: You are worthy.  Wouldn’t you?”[6]

We cannot reject a clear teaching of Hell that Jesus so emphatically repeated in the scriptures. All Christians should be embracing the doctrine of Hell with the place it has in the biblical worldview.  The horror of hell should offend our moral senses. It is a tragedy that sin entered into the world and that we humans are continuously rebelling from God and the lost are rejecting the Savior.[7]

Derek Smith wrote, “As for me, I know for a fact that Hell is real. As if the Bible’s depiction of the existence of Hell weren’t enough to convince me (and it is), I also see incontrovertible proof of Hell’s existence all around me every day.”[8]

There is a place being prepared for the righteous called heaven.  It is real.  God is preparing the place.  There is place already made and reserved for the ungodly.  It is called Hell.  Hell is for real! TheEnd

Follow Christ, Believe and live, Hell is for real… 
 
Click to go to back to  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Have a Godly day,
“The Tubthumper”


[1] Morgan and Peterson, Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, 239-40.

[2] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 80.

[3] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 16.

[4] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, 148.

[5] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 84.

[6] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, 124.

[7] Velarde, Is Hell Real?

[8] Smith, Hell Is Not as Hot as You Think: Why Everything You’ve Been Taught about Hell Is Likely Wrong, 538.

Hell Yes It’s Real, Part 5

images3JESUS SAID HELL IS FOR REAL

Christ is the Authority on the Subject

Based on the authority of Jesus Christ we have no choice but to believe that Hell is for real.  He descended there for three hours which were the darkest hours known to mankind to date. The place reserved for the lost is prepared. Jesus tells us more about Hell being for real than any other author or speaker.[1] Matthew 25: 31 -43 provides a representative example of how Christ spoke of Hell. 

Jesus knew about Hell first hand and spoke about it the most. Jonathan Edwards didn’t invent the concept of Hell.  John Wesley or Charles Spurgeon didn’t come up with it either. How about Thomas Aquinas or Augustine, did they invent it?  Maybe the reformers of the sixteenth century dreamed it up. No, it was not dreamed up by anyone at all.  It is a Biblical doctrine and pretty close to all that is learned about it comes from the lips of Jesus Christ. The early church took the concept of Hell very seriously and we should as well.  The church today should take the concept of Hell much more serious than they do because of the frequency that Jesus spoke about it.[2]

Jesus often used the images of fire and darkness to describe Hell. The parable of “The wheat and the tares” holds a very terrifying group of words by the Lord.  “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:40-43).  We see the “weeping” while they are “cast into the fiery furnace”.  A few verses later it comes again, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 13:49-50).And again Jesus gives it to us, “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:8-9).  Again we see Jesus using the images of darkness for a description of Hell, “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).   Just before He died the words were told in another parable, “Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13) and He did it again in another parable when he said, “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30).  It is clear that Jesus is describing to us a Hell that is for real and a Hell that includes darkness, weeping, and gnashing of teeth which are all common Jewish ways to describe Hell. We need to remember this is real to our fellow humans, this is the real deal, and this stuff has real implications for real people that will have real destinies.  This is very important material to consider.  Now, the most alarming statement about the duration of Hell comes in Matthew 25 where He delivered the parable of the Sheep and the Goats.  It was about the rapture and the final judgment.  The sheep represented the believers in Christ and the Goats represented the unbelievers. Jesus divided them up in the two different groups according to how they have lived their lives.  If you have clothed the naked, fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty you went in the sheep group.  If you did none of these things you went with the goats cast into the everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels.[3]

Jesus told another parable in Matthew 13:48-50.  In a very large fishing net were caught all kinds of fish.  The fishermen emptied the nets and separated the good fish from the bad fish.  They discarded the bad fish for they had no value.  “That is another great image of the end of the age.  The angels will be separating the righteous from the wicked and the wicked will discarded into the fiery furnace, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 13;29-50).[4]

In the book of Mark Jesus was talking about sinners getting thrown into hell (Mark 9:43-48) Mark quoted Isaiah’s picture of Hell. The place where worm does not die and fire is not quenched. That devouring worm is eating what is already dead and then helped by the unquenchable fire until nothing remains. Whatever is left lasts for all of eternity. (Mt. 25:46)[5] The choice is yours, do you want life or do you want the fiery punishment?

Jesus is Consistent with the Early Jews

The first-century Jews believed in Hell and had a clear view they described.  Jesus was a Jew.  If Jesus disagreed with the view of Hell provided by his fellow Jews He would have very clearly outlined his differences and place an argument against them.  Jesus was never afraid of going against a commonly held Jewish idea.  The views of Jesus stand in line with the first-century Jewish pictures of Hell.[6]

Hell is described consistently throughout the New Testament by Jesus and also by nearly all the writers God used to pen His words.  Judgment and punishment are consistent pictures drawn by all the writers. Destruction, death, exclusion, banishment, and separation are all words used to describe that awful place. The issue of fire and suffering are included in many of the descriptions, however the predominate and overriding theme is always destruction and punishment.  There are three main pictures of Hell that emerge out of the New Testament writings.  The nature of Hell is described clearly as punishment, destruction and banishment.[7] Hell shown as punishment affirms that sin is recognized by God as a crime. The destruction picture of Hell indicates that sin is a spiritual death and the banishment shows sin as alienating us from God.[8]  The sin is real, evil and wickedness are real, the crime is real, the punishment is real and Hell is for real.

The word gehenna, (translation “Hell”) was used in the Gospels twelve times.  The images of fire and darkness are there along with punishment and judgment.  Jesus believed just like the early Jews that hell was real and the wicked are headed to that a place of punishment.[9]

Join me next time as I bring this to a conclusion…  Click here to go to the next post.

Yes, Hell is for real!

Have a Godly day,

The “Tubthumper”

Click here to go to:  Part 1,     Part 2,     Part 3,      Part 4.


[1] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 37.

[2] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 52.

[3] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, 76-81.

[4] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 40.

[5] Ibid., 44.

[6] Ibid., 73.

[7] Morgan and Peterson, Hell under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents Eternal Punishment, 142.

[8] Keller et al., IS HELL for Real or Does Everyone Go to Heaven, 605.

[9] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up, 74.

Hell Yes It’s Real, part 4

New Testament Doctrine of Hellcanstockphoto5818885

Three words are translated to “Hell” from the New Testament. Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. Hades and Tartarus are Greek and the word Gehenna is the Greek form of the Hebrew words Gee and Hinnom which mean “the valley of Hinnom.”

Hades occurs eleven times and has a meaning of “grave” one time and “Hell” ten times. 2 Cor. 15: 55, ” O death, where is thy sting. O grave (hades) where is thy victory?” An example of a use where it takes the meaning of “Hell” is Rev. 6: 8, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was death, and Hell followed him.”

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus provides a good example of hades being used in the figurative sense of depravity, suffering and degradation. The word Tartarus was used only one time and was within the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Tartarus was the place of torment within Hades. It is the place where the rich man was located and was used figuratively. The word Gehanna shows up 12 times always being associated with “Hell”. It is found in the following scriptures: Matt. 5:22, 29, 30, 10:28, 18:9, 13:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5 and James 3:6. It is clear to see the word Gehanna, or Hell, within the New Testament represents anything repulsive, foul and evil with judgment of destruction.[1]

The majority of people today cannot quite grasp the Biblical teaching on the destiny of the lost. Someone you love could possibly end up in eternal punishment because of wickedness.  Now that is a thought and a place where even Christians with generally high views of Biblical inspiration cannot go.[2]

The bible teaches the existence of Heaven where we can end up in a state of joyous eternity and residing in the fellowship of God. It also teaches the presence of Hell which is presented as a state of anguished separation from God. Those decisions are made while you are in this life and once this life ends they become permanently fixed states.[3]

The very first description of Hell in revelation comes in Chapter 14 when John wrote about the final judgment. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:9-11).  This is another very terrifying section of God’s word as it is referring to “God’s wrath” and “God’s anger” all mentioned within the context of “tormented with fire and brimstone” forever and ever.  It does not get any more frightful than this. John sends all a very forceful warning of “Do not oppose God!” He goes on in revelation describing the torment and the lake of fire.[4]

In Revelation 20 and 21 the “Lake of fire” is described as the place where all who choose to turn from Jesus will go as a final destiny.  In Rev. 20: 11-15 the words are clear that the lake of fire is for punishment.  John tells us there will be two different places for believers and unbelievers.  “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:14-15).   If these subjects have not dealt with their sins through the blood of Jesus in this life, “washed their robes”; their destiny will be chosen.  There will be no way to wash your robes when you are in the lake of fire.[5]

The doctrine of Hell is fully supported by the Bible and has been an accepted doctrine of the Christian church from the beginning. Many Scholars such as C.S. Lewis have come to the conclusion that scriptures also are supported by reason.

In the last part of Matthew 25 it says, “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:44-46).  Think about what the Bible is always talking about.  Believe on Christ and be saved.  Believe and have everlasting life.  Be saved from what? It is important to connect with this fundamental issue.  If you believe and have a saving faith in Christ you are then saved from that awful and terrible place in outer darkness.  You will be saved from the wrath of God.  No one wants to experience the wrath of a just God visited upon who ever has been hostile toward Him. You should be seeing the reality of Hell in all this. The most frightful thing anyone could ever experience is the judgment of a holy God.[6]

Tony Evans wrote, “The Bible is clear that at the moment of death, our souls pass immediately into conscious existence in eternity, either in heaven or in hell.  A lot of people think there’s some kind of second chance after death.  God’s Word says nothing about an intermediate state of purgatory after death in which we have a second chance to get our act together, have our sins dealt with and then make it to heaven.”[7]

As mentioned before, this life is no trial run.  It is the only shot we have.  So let us all get our act together so as not to end up in that horrible place called Hell.  Yes, it is for real.

Come back for the next post as we look at what Jesus said about Hell.

  Click here to jump to the next post. Jump to part 1, part 2, part 3, Conclusion.

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”

 



[1] Velarde, Is Hell Real?

[2] David Horton and Ryan Horton, eds., The Portable Seminary (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2006), 166.

[3] Ibid., 194.

[4] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 15.

[5] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell, 33.

[6] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 65.

[7] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 8.

Hell Yes It’s Real, part 3

Choiceisyours

HUMAN RESPONSES TO HELL

God has always been a God of Life and love. All humans including you were made in His image. (Genesis 1:26-27) He has a high value on human lives and also respects our human ability to choose. God makes His efforts to reach us all and move us to choose His Son to follow and join Him. We all have our entire life to make that choice, however long or short that life may be. Many will reject the truth and choose a path different than what God would desire for them.

Hell is a subject that even the most faithful of humans tend to avoid.  It is an extremely unpopular subject. To think of being permanently separated from God is a much too permanent thought in a world like ours where almost nothing seems permanent. It seems too final.  Everyone seems to think there should be a second chance. But the Bible is clear that this is not a trial run we are in and this life is the only chance we have.  Each person only gets to live life once.  You can use the life you are given by serving God or you can use it rebelling against Him.  God can never be accused of sending people to Hell. People make the choice.  If a person says no to God then they choose to go to Hell.  He doesn’t want them to go there but it is the choice made.[1]

Modern folks are trying to revise the doctrine of hell and to remove the finality of everlasting punishment and one observer asked, “Could it be that the only result of attempts to air condition Hell, however well-meaning they are, will ensure that more and more people wind up there?” R. Albert Mohler,Jr. wrote, “Hell demands our attention in the present, and now confronts evangelicals with a critical test of theological and biblical integrity. Hell may be denied, but it will not disappear.”[2]

Biblical Picture of Reality

We have found in the Bible that Jesus gives us a picture of hell that is truly real. It is awful to say the least and it is forever.  He says it is everlasting. Jesus points out that people should do all they can to avoid it.  With so many people today doubting whether Hell and the anguish and torment it carries are forever and eternal, the teaching of Jesus and His emphasis on the everlasting duration of Hell needs to be highlighted brightly.[3]

The doctrine of Hell is truly an emotional and repulsive thought and everyone is troubled when thinking of someone else going there, let alone the thought of going there yourself.  But there was all this emphatic teaching of Jesus Christ and the authors of the New Testament that we learn from the Bible.  All of these teachers are adamant there will be judgment.  They are all insistent there will be separation because some people will be fortunate and end up in Heaven yet others will be cast into that place where they will exist in weeping and gnashing of teeth.[4]

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HELL

When the Bible says something it is the truth.  God’s word is infallible.  Think about the simple fact that from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis God pronounced the penalty of death on man due to the sin of Adam. Since that time the life of a human being has been limited to a number of years focusing around seventy.  There is no need to assume anything and all you need to do is turn the pages and look at the evidence for yourself.  Research all the history you want and you will find no man, not one, since the fall of Adam has lived forever.  All have died or been taken up. (Like Enoch) No one has ever escaped that penalty that God declared so long ago in that death would be the penalty for sin.  At times in my profession people begin a sentence with, “If anything should happen to me…” and I always stop them to say, “It will, You will die, we both will die because it is the reality.” There have been billions and billions of people that have taken a step on this earth since then and every single one has tasted God’s penalty for sin which is death.  Could there be any better example of the accuracy, power and truth of god’s word?[5]

Old Testament Doctrine of Hell

When we see the word Hell in the Old Testament it will likely be some translation of the word ‘Sheol’. This term occurs sixty-four times with a rendering toward “Hell” thirty-two times, referencing “grave” twenty-nine times and with a rendering toward “pit” three times. With an examination of Hebrew Scripture the determination will be a primary meaning of (the place or state of the dead.). By substituting the word hell in the place of “grave” or “Sheol” you will be better able to understand the scriptural doctrine on the subject of Hell.

Later in the Old Testament there is a figurative meaning to the word “Sheol” and this time is representing calamity and degradation that comes from sin or the judgment of God. When seen in those scriptures it is plain to see that “Sheol” or “Hell” was used during times of suffering, depravity and mortification. There is a reference to this in Psalm 9: 17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”[6]

 “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.  Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.  Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.  The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.  Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee” (Psalm 116:3-7) “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied” (Proverbs 27:20).

Several scriptures in the Old Testament lead us to a view of what will happen to the lost at the end when the world will end.  The wicked will become like chaff or husks of wheat blowing in the wind.   They will look like little pieces of broken pottery.  The wicked will be slain and will exist no more. The evil ones will be become like ashes under the feet of God’s people. In 1 Corinthians we get from Paul that the last enemy that gets destroyed is death itself. “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25-26).  The annihilation of death is described by John using the lake of fire picture in Revelation 20:14.  For all humans the lake of fire is the second death (Rev 20:14-15; 21:8).[7]

The work of Christ is previewed in Isaiah chapter 11 and this gets echoed in the New Testament.  This is about Jesus work of redemption and gospel ministry to the gentiles.  The judgment to come will provide freedom for some and for others there will be the punishment. Jesus will “strike the earth with the rod of His mouth; and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked” (Is. 11:4) the clear message revealed here is the wicked will be ultimately destroyed.  Yes, Hell is for real. The wicked will not be able to hide or protect themselves when God does “arise”.  The evilness of their own sins will ignite and become a fire that “consumes” them (Is 33:10-11).  They will blaze as easily as “cut thornbushes” and burn so complete “as if to lime” (Is 33:12).  Can any metaphor describe destruction any better than this?[8]

In Isaiah 66 there is a clear picture of what the righteous will see after the wrath of God is poured forth.  The image is food for fire and maggots. “And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Is. 66:24). So what the righteous see is corpses and carcasses.  God has executed His judgment and wrath with fire and sword. But the righteous will endure forever and worship God when the wicked are no longer alive. (Is 66:22-23)[9]

This is just a glimpse of what Hell is.. join me next time and have a look at what the New Testament says about Hell. 

Have a Godly day,Choiceisyours

“The Tubthumper”

Click here to go back to part 2.

Click here to go back to part 1.

Click here to jump to part 4.

Click here to jump to part 5

Click here to ju8mp to the Conclusion.

Hell Yes it’s Real, part 2

HellheavensignWhat about the definition and description of Hell?

The Early Jews Believed

The first- century Jews vividly described hell and the descriptions they gave were the same as the ones provided by the New Testament authors and the images presented by Jesus.  They said all sinners would be blotted out of the book of life.  These sinners would cry and lament in an invisible wilderness and they would burn in the fire.  They described this place as being “completely dark.”  Although it was completely dark there was the flame of its fire burning brightly. They described Hell as being an “abyss…full of fire” and pictured all the wicked being “cast into this fiery abyss, and they were burned.”  Fire, darkness and lamenting were typical ways they described that place.  There is one thing that is very clear: First-century Jews knew that Hell was for real.  They believed in the “abyss” where its inhabitants were in pain.  They believed in Hell and knew Hell was for real.[1]

Hell is about judgment and eternal separation. All the words about Hell that come from Jesus are related to judgment.  When we think of the picture of Hell painted throughout the New Testament there are a number of things we need to understand.  One thing is that God is a just god. He is Holy and must judge according to His perfect righteousness. He is the Great High Priest and the ruler of all. All His creation is accountable to Him.  Anyone that has studied God’s word knows that one basic teaching is there will be a final judgment day for all.  Everyone is to be judged according to His perfect law and His righteousness.[2]

 Theological Definition of Hell

From a theological standpoint the doctrine of Hell is relating to eschatology. Eschatology is the study of end-times events, the book of Revelation in the Bible and what happens to an individual’s soul when their physical body dies. Actually in simple terms it is related to our eternal destiny and whether our soul goes to heaven or to hell. God has an offer for everyone to join Him in His kingdom when they die. Unfortunately very few will take him up on his offer and instead of choosing heaven they will be residing in this place called hell.
God is without sin and holy, just and loving. Nothing unholy can ever come within His presence. Anyone failing to accept the truth must end up somewhere else after physical death and that somewhere else is Hell. This is not a pleasant topic however it is one that is very important to understand in biblical context.[3]

There is enough evidence for us to believe that Hell, the Gehenna Hell exists today.  It is real and it is likely someone you have known is there now.  That should be a sobering, tearful and frightful thought.  According to the scriptures and the words of Jesus heaven is still in preparation.  It says, in John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”.[4]

As for Hell, however, there is strong evidence from the Bible and also from scientific facts that say Hell exists right now. Look to Matthew 25:41, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels”.  Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost wrote, “The word ‘prepared’ literally is “having been prepared,” suggesting that the lake of fire is already in existence and awaiting its occupants.  It is the thesis of C.T. Schwatrze, then of New York University, that such a place as a lake of fire is known to science today.”[5]

The images of Hell in the Old Testament are where the phrase “fire and brimstone” originated.  It is the King James Version’s explanation of “burning sulfur” suffocating its victims by the fumes and the flames would destroy anything else remaining.  Lamentations indicates that death by fire and brimstone might be fairly merciful compared to some ways of meeting the end. “For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her” (Lam. 4:6).  God’s wrath was poured out on sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah and they were burned to ashes as an example of what will happen to the ungodly in the end. “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6).  The absolute permanence of that city’s destruction is made clear in the scriptures.  It was a forever lasting event.  (Isaiah 13:19-22; Jer. 5040). The city of Sodom would never again rise which is the picture of the destiny of those Jude was referring to.  They will “suffer the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7).[6]

Hell is for real! The reality of Hell is an established fact.  There is an undeniable reality of Hell.  Tony Evans writes, “Hell is the place of external exile where the ungodly will experience god’s righteous retribution against sin forever.  We are going to see that of all the suffering in hell, the worst is the fact that the lost are banished from God’s presence forever.[7]

Join me next time to look into the human responses to hell compared to what the Bible says about that horrible place.  CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO PART 3.

Jump to Part 1Part 2,   Part 4,    Part 5Conclusion.

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”


[1] Chan and Sprinkle, Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We Made Up.

[2] Sproul, Unseen Realities, 61.

[3] Robert Velarde, Is Hell Real?, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/becoming_a_christian/is_christ_the_only_way/is_hell_real.aspx (accessed April 19, 2013).

[4] The Holy Bible, King James Version.

[5] Harold L. Wilmington, Great Truths from God’s Word: Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1993), 228.

[6] Edward William Fudge, and Peterson, Two Views of Hell, 29.

[7] Evans, Tony Evans Speaks Out on Heaven and Hell, 16.

Hell Yes It’s Real, Part 1

HeavenorhelldoorIn the last couple months I have working on a few theological items. Some of the main topics have been Hell, Heaven and Faith along with a few others.  I wrote about Hell previously but this time I did some research and pulled the views of some others into my package of thoughts and knowledge.So I think I will work through these items starting with Hell.

In a series of posts I will show how the authoritative words of Jesus Christ and the clarity of the Bible cause us to have no other choice but to believe that Hell is for real. 

The subject we are considering is extremely heavy as we look at the reality of Hell.  Hell is an awesome thing.  Who could ever possibly take it all in?  To admit that Hell is real is to say that it is possible you or I or both of us might end up in eternal anguish separated from God and separated from other humans to be tormented in darkness.  It is important to know if Hell really exists and it sure would be nice for a lot of people if it didn’t. [1]

There is a very different opinion of Hell now from back at the time when Edwards or Spurgeon were thumping the “Hellfire and Brimstone” from the pulpit.  Any discussion regarding Hell today is sure to bring a rash on someone.  The doctrine of Hell has never been challenged as much as it is now in our time.[2]

Hell is certainly for real and even Jesus Christ went there.  He went to Sheol (Greek Hades) at His death on the cross (Acts 2:27, 31).  He visited briefly because He was resurrected on the third day and came back in victory.  Because of His resurrection from death Jesus has in His possession “the keys to death and Hades” and He will reign over them (Rev. 1:18).  In the end both death and Hades will be cast into the “lake of fire” along with the devil, fallen angels and all the lost sinners (Rev.20:13-15).

The views have changed over time. The doctrine of Hell is almost never addressed in Christian theology today because it is so controversial. You don’t hear any ‘Hellfire and Brimstone’ sermons any more like was part of the ministry of Jonathan Edwards so long ago.  Jonathan Edwards was probably more closely associated with the concept of Hell than any other preacher.  Many called him sadistic because he concentrated on Hell so often.  Jonathan Edwards was a man that truly believed in the reality of Hell. Because he was concerned about the spiritual well-being of his congregation, and he rightly should have, he preached passionately about Hell. He certainly had no desire for any of his people to experience that dreadful place.[3]

The Doctrine of Hell stands alone.  Of course Hell is for real.  The doctrine stands alone based on the history of Christianity.  If you were to take away Hell the entire scope of Christian theology would be altered.  Men and women dreamed of going to heaven and they had nightmares about going to Hell.  Now days there is distaste for hell and it shows up in the watered down sermons. There cannot be any room for doubt on this.  We must make a choice to admit that the endless misery of Hell is real or we need to give up the thought of eternal happiness in heaven.[4]

There is both scientific and biblical evidence that Hell is for real.  Evangelical Christians believe the Biblical sources are the only ones truly reliable to determine what our eternal destinies will be like. They (we) want to seek out God’s truth for the answer.  Evangelical Christians also believe that Hell is for real and any thought of a postmortem second chance or an afterlife is preposterous.  Consequently, evangelicals believe the most horrible fate any human being could ever face is the reality of Hell.[5] 

The views have changed over time.  Regardless of the issue that people do not want to think seriously about hell, everyone needs to be aware.  Human beings need to understand the place that Christ’s death on the cross saved them from.  All unbelievers should be warned of the eternal judgment that will become them if they do not turn to God, repent of their sins and find salvation through Jesus Christ.

This is real serious stuff because we are talking about the eternal future and destination of real people.  People that you and I know and see every day.  People that could spend the rest of eternity in a horrible place.  Anyone persistently rejecting the Lord throughout their life can expect to one day face God in judgment and likely get the verdict to be cast into Hell. Hell is for real.  Anyone ending up in Hell can never come out again and Hell is frightening beyond any human imagination.

Yes, Hell is for real… join me in the next post as I continue with defining hell and getting into the nitty-gritty dirty details.

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2

Click here to jump to Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Conclusion.

Have a Godly day,

scan0012

“The Tubthumper”


[1] Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle, Erasing Hell.

[2] R.C. Sproul, Unseen Realities: Heaven, Hell, angels and Demons.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Timothy Keller et al., Is HELL for Real or does Everyone go to Heaven.

[5] Edward William Fudge, and Petersen, Two Views of Hell.

[6] Sproul, Unseen Realities.

In God’s Image, Really?

imageWhat do you think when you read that man was created in God’s image.  We could all write pages and pages on what is all encompassed within being created in God’s image. The first thought I have is that God created us perfect and then man’s sin with Satan’s treachery ruined it all. Have you ever thought about all the absolutely beautiful things in the world? Sometimes I see something and I think “Oh my, that is so beautiful… how can it be?” Can you possibly imagine how beautiful God is? My pastor said yesterday that to be with Him someday and see that awesome beauty will be like I have never, ever seen before. That is a good first thought.  It is a thought about His beauty, His greatness, His power and His love. And how can it be that we would be created in that image?

In Genesis 1:26-27 it says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

I think these verses actually refer to the nature of man and not how we look. I don’t think it is referring to the physical bodies we are in now. One clue I have is that my body is deteriorating fast and God’s body has none of these effects.

I believe that even in my best years, (and in my prime I was a handsome and fit man if I don’t say so myself) I could never have held a candle to the image of God. Never! We have no clear image of God’s beauty and looks.  No person has ever seen God.  John wrote, “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Jesus said in John14:9, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” 

The very first sentence in Genesis 1:27 say’s a lot. God created, therefore, anyone believing the Bible is truly the word of God must without question put aside any thoughts of evolution. We did not evolve. We were created.  Because we were created in the image of God, He must have had a plan for us. He must have designed a purpose. He must have a divine purpose for each of us when we were created or as a whole when mankind was created. There are scriptures that indicate we were created for Him and we were created for His pleasure. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

The Bible indicates in many passages that God is a Spirit. Because we were created in His image we then have a spirit. We were created in His image and have a body, a soul and a spirit. Certainly and evidently we have no divine trinity like He does but we do have a type of triune existence that is much inferior to His. Much, very much inferior to His.  (Created in his image.) Remember that an image is simply a reflection. We experience the spirit existence when we pray and when we hear that still small voice within. It is the Holy Spirit (God’s spirit) communicating with our spirit. What about the soul, the soul, is hard to understand and cannot be explained because it is one of God’s great mysteries Think of how we think, if you can. I think of my being and who I am deep down.  Actually this soul is the inner you and it is the person God sees. The person you show other humans is not really you. Only you and God know the real you. It is that part that only God knows that is the soul. It is what drives your thoughts, your conscience, your intellect and common sense and it is your will. The will is important because it is there the battle rages between flesh and spirit. The fact we were created with will means we have choice. What a mystery and a wonder this is. With the soul he created us with emotion and the ability to love. Is there another word in the Bible mentioned more than the word love? With some research you will find the word love shows up in different numbers depending on what version of the Bible you are reading.  Regardless of the version, however, love comes up huge.  The King James Bible shows the word love 314 times, the word love’s appears once, the word loved appears 98 times, the word lovedst appeared twice and the word lovely appears 4 times. In the New American Standard version the word love appears 133 times in the Old Testament and 215 times in the New Testament.  In the New International Version the word love shows up 319 times in the Old and 232 times in the New Testament.  Lastly in the New Revised Standard version the word love appears 317 times in the Old and 221 times in the New Testament. Lot’s of love. God is love and he created us with the capacity to love. He wants us to love. Through our loving and His love we glorify God and we demonstrate the Glory of God which is our purpose. Love is one of His pleasures. We were created for His pleasure.

God created us in His image so that He can have fellowship with us and we can fellowship with Him. God desires our fellowship. He desires to share all the glory and beauty of His love with us. We are to stay in fellowship through prayer and the reading of His word.  It seems like God wants to have an ongoing meaningful relationship of love with all He created. Earlier it was mentioned that He created man for His pleasure. His pleasure is to love us and to be loved by us. His pleasure is to have us glorify God.  Those that refuse to accept His love and deny Him do so by exercising that free will He provided in creation. He made it clear that to deny Christ is to deny life. If you are reading this and your life is empty and useless then turn to the one who gives life and love. As Elmer Towns always says, “Believe and live.”

I must conclude with a thesis of what it means to be created in God’s image is that we were created with the capacity to love and it is God’s desire that we share His love.  That is His pleasure.  We are beings that were created as loving beings.  We were filled with God’s love.CreatedinGodsImage5th

There is so much more to be said. Of course we know of the horrible act in the Garden where evil and hate became real. That became real along with the choice to love or to hate. (That is another subject for another time.)

God bless your day today,

“The Tubthumper”

You must view God in 3-D, part 5

Trinitylast

 

Dove

 

 

CONCLUSION

You likely have sung or heard this doxology:

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above, ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

You may also be familiar with this:

“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy ghost, As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, World without end, Amen.”

Both of these songs are about the Trinity.  By knowing the true nature of the Trinity and by intimately relating to each person and the Godhead one can deepen the spiritual walk and increase faith in Christ.  Knowledge and understanding of the nature of God and theological issues like this will gradually wean one from the milk of the word and help in the partaking of the meat.

There are some false views and mistakes many make regarding the Trinity.  One big mistake people make is to buy into the theory of “tri-theism”. Tri-theism maintains that the Trinity is made up of three separate gods.  The theory is these three gods cooperate with one another but are all separate. Do not get caught up in this theory. It is false.

Another theory people might buy into is the theory of “modalism”.  Those that lean to this kind of thinking believe there is one God that reveals himself through using three different modes.  This is kind of like having a climate system on your care that can use three modes, the heating mode, the cooling mode or the vent mode.  Just turn the switch.  So they God turns the Father switch on when he is in Father mood or maybe he feels today like a ghost so he switches on the Spirit mode and then when He feels like it He changes to the mode of the Son.  Don’t get caught up in modalism.  This is false teaching and both “tri-theism” and “modalism” are unscriptural.

How does scripture describe the Trinity?

1) The Bible says the Father is God.  “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7) “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” (1 Peter 1:2)

2) The Bible says the Son is God. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) In the beginning was the Word, [Christ] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)  “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13) “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)

3) The Bible says the Spirit is God.  “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3-4) “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

I am sure you may be familiar with this beautiful hymn:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,

Early in the morning, our song shall rise to Thee;

Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty,

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity. 

The author of that hymn is Reginald Hernber and I don’t think anyone could have put the doctrine of the Trinity in a better form.

They are All Equally God and they are All Divine.

The doctrine of the Trinity can be best defined this way, “First, the Bible teaches there is only one God and second, the Bible teaches there are three distinct persons called God, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Lastly and most importantly, the three persons; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the one God.”[1]

There is only one deity and that one deity is sacred and holy and eternal. There are three persons that make up the one deity.  As mentioned earlier the doctrine of the Trinity cannot be figured out through human wisdom and knowledge. It can only be revealed by the truth of the word through scripture.  We first find the Trinity in the pages of the Old Testament and later we find it in the New Testament where the doctrine becomes fully revealed.  Three distinct personalities show up along with the relationship to each and they all are unified to show the “three in one” dynamics.[2]

Regarding deity they are all equal. (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.) They are all equally God.  Barry Davis wrote, “This Jesus who identifies Himself as “I AM” is equal with God because He is God. “I AM” is eternal with God.”1

The whole issue can be summed up with the words of William Edwin Boardman in his book The Higher Christian Life, where he said, “The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible, (John 1:18); the Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested, (John 1:4-18); and the Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately upon the creature. (1 Corinthians 2: 9-10) And therein lays “The Deity of Three.”

Jesus had a favorite way of referring to Himself.  It was “The Son of Man”. That title is what He preferred, however, when He wanted to be very clear that He was the same as God the Father and the Holy Spirit he used a different term so as to demonstrate his sovereignty and His deity.  “I AM…I AM”.  He is claiming to be ‘The God’, the self-existent one, He is claiming to be the God identified with the Old Testament and He is claiming to be ‘your God’.  He is my God!  The great “I AM…I AM,” Lord and Master of all.

He is “One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all,” Ephesians 4:6. 

I will conclude with 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”

Today is Good Friday; please enjoy the Resurrection Sunday in Him. He is risen!

Amen and Amen,

“The Tubthumper”

 

Click here to jump to :
PART 1 PART 2PART 3PART 4


[1] Beckwith, The Trinity.

[2] Max Robert Miller, The Godhead as It Relates to the Three Divine Personalities of Deity, the Trinity, Being God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, Thereby Making Special Identification of These Three Persons and Especially to the Son and His Relations in the Trinity (Amridge University, ALabama: http://p2048-www.liberty.edu.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/docview/303230576?accountid=12085-Dissertation/Thesis, (accessed March 1, 2013), 1981).

You Must View God in 3-D, Part 4

Holy_Spirit  THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Invisible force of power cannot be compared to an individual person of deity.

Many have argued that the Holy Spirit is simply an invisible force of the power of the Almighty God.  They argue that the Holy Spirit has no deity and is “not a person” and that it is an impersonal force God uses to complete His will.  The Bible teaches however, the Holy Spirit is a person.  A person is a self-conscious and rational being.  In order to qualify as a person there needs to be certain components present such as knowing, thinking and communicating. Let us look at these passages of scripture:

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8) He is a personal pronoun indicating a person who is communicating.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 8:13) Guide you into all truth whatsoever he shall hear indicates knowing and thinking and speak and shew is communicating.

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2) The Holy Ghost said, indicating communication“I”, is a first person pronoun indicating a person. In these passages the Holy Spirit is demonstrating those traits of a person.  By communicating, thinking and knowing, and being described with personal pronouns, the Holy Spirit is acting as a self-conscious person.[1]

The Five-fold Indication of the Deity of the Holy Spirit.

The scriptures clearly assert the deity of the Holy Spirit in five ways.

First, divine names were given to the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit is called God as Ananias is talking in Acts 5 verse 4, “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”  The Spirit is also called Lord in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In the Lord’s Day, the title ‘Lord’ as used of Christ was applicable only to the Deity, to God.  Therefore this reference is applicable to the Deity.

Second, the Holy Spirit is in possession of divine attributes.  Hebrews 9:14 indicates He is eternal in His nature. Psalms 139:7-10 speaks to the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit.  Luke 1:35 speaks to how the Holy Spirit is omnipotent and 1 Corinthians 2:10 and 11 speaks to the omniscient Holy Spirit through the trinity.

Third, the Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.  Genesis 1:2 and Psalms 104:30 give indication to the divine works in creation.  Regeneration is indicated in Job 33:4, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Romans 8:11 brings out the Holy Spirits involvement in the resurrection, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

Fourth, the name of the Holy Spirit gets associated with the Father and the Son.  In Baptism there is the personality of the Spirit.  Baptism is done in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  When it comes to the distribution of Spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit is on equal footing with the Father and the Son. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

Fifth and last, some scripture passages in the Old Testament referring to God are also in the New Testament referring to the Holy Spirit.  Compare Isaiah 6:8-10 with Acts 28:25-27 and compare Exodus 16:7 with Hebrews 3:7-9.[2]

R.A. Torrey writes, “To sum it all up, by the ascription of all the distinctively Divine attributes, and several distinctly Divine works, by referring statements which in the Old testament clearly name Jehovah, the Lord, or God as their subject to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, by coupling the name of the Holy Spirit with that of God in a way that would be impossible to couple that of any finite being with that of Deity, by plainly calling the Holy Spirit God, in all these unmistakable ways, God in His own Word distinctly proclaims that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.”[3]

Come back for the conclusion in the next post. Click here for the CONCLUSION.

God bless your day today,

“The Tubthumper”

 

Click Here to Jump to Part 1here for Part 2here for Part 3



[1] Francis J. Beckwith, The Trinity, http://www.answering-islam.org/Trinity/beckwith.html (accessed March 1, 2013).

[2] Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible.

[3] R.A.Torrey, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit (New York, NY: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1910), 29.

You Must View God in 3-D, Part 3

The “I AM…I AM” assertion.     We Believe

When we read the Bible in its entirety we can see there is no doubt Jesus is claiming full equality with the other members of the Godhead. Most specifically one saying speaks volumes for His deity and that saying is “I AM… I AM” which is an implication that He is the one and only God. That He is the self-existent one, identifying Himself with the Old Testament deity, “I am the Jehovah of the Old Testament”.

To be very clear it is important to point out the relationship to this particular saying and the deity of Christ.  This saying is clearly showing Christ’s deity and the fact that He is the one God.  Leon Morris said, “John’s use of the expression is distinctive. We get nothing like it anywhere else in the New Testament (except for a handful of passages in the synoptics); thus we must recognize that John is using the hallowed expression to bring out the truth that his Master was one with a special relationship to the Heavenly Father, a relationship in which he must be thought of as partaking in the nature of deity, and a relationship which does not compromise the truth that there is but one God.[1]

One of the most powerful claims Jesus made during His life was “Before Abraham was I AM”. That statement relates back to the burning bush incident with Moses in Exodus 3:13, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, what [is] his name? What shall I say unto them?” What we see here is Moses asking God, “What is your name?” And then we see the answer in verse 14, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” So He tells Moses, I AM who I AM. God wants him to tell them His name is “I AM”. When Jesus used this name He used the name of the one and only God, the true sovereign Lord.  Jesus was making it very clear. He was saying, “Let me be clear, I am the one and only I AM”.  So we see that Jesus is naming Himself the very name of God and the Jew’s knew it. They recognized the language. When they heard it they rejected the claim and picked up rocks and they tried to stone Him.

M.M. Ninan writes, “You see in those few words He said, “Ok folks, remember Moses out there in the wilderness? Remember the burning bush? Remember that God? Remember the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Remember the God who brought you out of Egypt and out of slavery? Remember the God who gave you this land and destroyed all your enemies? Remember the God who said it is punishable by death to claim to be Him? Remember the God who created the entire universe as well as you? Remember the God who says He is the only God? Well, guess what? That is the God I am. That is the God I am claiming to be. No doubts, no questions, no confusion, I AM.”[2]

Morris in his book, “Jesus is the Christ” tells us that Jesus was using language that accords with deity.  He writes “I AM, mostly represents the speech of the heavenly Father or of the Son. The overtones of deity that we find in its use in the Old Testament are not lost when we move to the New.”[3]  Scripture showing this style of deity is found in John 8:18, “I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.”

John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse emphasizes the preexistence of Jesus. Philippians 2:6 shows that Jesus possessed all the attributes of God which includes preexistence.

To further affirm Christ’s deity Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” So in Him the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form. John 10:30 says, “I and [my] Father are one.”

John 17:5 says, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Therefore, He had glory with the Father before the world began.

He is the great “I AM”. He is fully God in every respect. Jesus is equal with God; He is eternal with God; He is essential with God; He is God! He is everything.”[4]

The deity of Christ is confirmed. Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Some students of John’s Gospel believe that our Lord’s words in John 4: 26 and 8:24, 28, 58, as well as 13:19 and 18:5-6 are all “theologically loaded” and affirm His deity as the great “I AM.”[5]

He is the great “I Am…I AM”.

Continue to the next post and we will review the Holy Spirit in respect of Deity.

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”

Click here to go back to PART 1  or  Here to go back to PART 2


[1] Leon Morris, Jesus Is the Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1989), 125.

[2] M.M. Ninan, “I AM”, Symbols Jesus Used to Explain Himself (Glendale, Wisconsin: Global Publishers, 2005), 9.

[3] Morris, Jesus Is the Christ, 109.

[4] Barry Davis, The Claims of Christ: What Jesus Had to Say about Himself (Bloomington, IN: Writers Club Press, 2001), 11.

[5] Warren Wiersbe, Jesus in the Present Tense: The I AM Statements of Christ (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2011), 11.

You Must View God in 3-D, Part 2

trinityWe are referring to 3 in Deity rather than a 3 dimensional perspective in the graphics sense.  The 3 dimensions we are looking at are The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and whether all three share in the deity of the Godhead.

THE DEITY OF GOD THE FATHER

There is only one God and we are to worship only one God.  The Shema of Deuteronomy Chapter 6 gives a very clear indication to the oneness of God and in the New Testament James 2:19 shows us we are to believe in one God and that the devil believes it and trembles.  Erickson says, “The rejection of polytheism runs throughout the Old Testament.  God repeatedly demonstrates his superiority to other claimants to deity.”[1]   The deity of the first part of the Trinity is not often in dispute and the Bible clearly outlines this.

The apostle Paul wants us to have a spiritual perception regarding the deity of God when he mentioned several times that “All is of God” (I Corinthians 11:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Romans 11:36).  Also when he is declaring that the saving is done only by the “power for salvation” which is God’s power. (Romans 1:16).  Also while Paul is emphasizing that God is, “Operating all, in accordance with the council of His will.”[2] (Ephesians 1:11)

The actual word for “Deity” shows up only once in the Greek transcripts.  It showed up in Colossians 2:9 in relation to the compliment of Deity dwelling in the body of Christ. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The word can be defined as “that which pertains to God”, to express “the godliness of God” and to attribute to Him the Glory and honor that He deserves. We need to give God the glory He is due and remember always that the scriptures were emphatic about putting God first in our life and none other. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”[3]

John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” We have the scriptures telling us God is a “Spirit”.  The many ways God is described in His “Spiritual nature” indicates God to be the “absolute Power and Life giver.”[4]

“For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light,” Psalm 36:9 and “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself,” John 5:26.  God is the living God in Spirit and He possesses life within himself and through the Son.

God is the fully living power in Spirit from which all things have come to exist, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring,” Acts 17:28.  We cannot see God, no one has ever seen God and no one will ever see God. We find this evident in 1 Timothy 6:16 where it says, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

It says in Psalm 99:2-3, “The Lord is great in Zion; and he is high above all the people. Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.”  He is Holy, He is exalted and He is separated from all other creation and sin.  “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones,” Isaiah 57:15 He is the high and lofty one and his name is Holy.  He lives in a Holy place and this Holiness transcends His deity.[5]

Anyone that would deny God the glory he deserves for his supremacy and His sovereignty should turn to Isaiah 40:25 and Isaiah 45:5, “Then to whom will ye liken Me, and whose equal will I be? Saying is the Holy One … I am Yahweh Alueim, and there is none else.”[6]

THE DEITY OF CHRIST THE SON

Scriptural Evidence

It is likely the best reference to Christ’s deity in the scriptures is Philippians 2: 5-11, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus was identified as God however He does have a subordinate relationship to the Father which is a concept we all need to come to grips with.

The “First and the Last” the “Alpha and the Omega”, as the apostle John called both Jesus and God equates Jesus with God.  (Revelation 22:13)

Mark 2:5-7 affirms Christ’s deity, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 and “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”  These two passages can attest to the deity of Christ and could not possibly have been taught any better, stronger or more explicitly.[7]  And what about Philippians 2:6, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,” could it be any clearer than this?

The apostles in the New Testament were also referring to the Old Testament when they were referring to the Angel of the Covenant and they addressed the glorious being as Jehovah to whom holds the highest credibility of deity and is worshipped by mankind.  Comparing the New Testament to the Old Testament affirms that the Son (Christ) was and is, in fact God.[8]

What about the “I AM” claims of Christ? Continue to the next post as we continue on the Deity of Christ and then move on to the Holy Spirit.

Click here to go to the next post.      or     here for Part 1.

God Bless you and yours,

“The Tubthumper”

 



[1] Ibid.

[2] John Henry Essex, The Deity of God: Part One, the Only True God, concordant.org/expohtml/GodAndChrist/The DeityOfGod1.html (accessed March 8, 2013).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Horton and Horton, The Portable Seminary, 91.93.

[5] Ibid., 92.

[6] John Henry Essex, The Deity of God: Part One, the Only True God, concordant.org/expohtml/GodAndChrist/The DeityOfGod1.html (accessed March 8, 2013).

[7] Smith, Of the Principles of Revealed Religion; 1st of the Holy Trinity: A Comprehensive View of the Leading and Most Important Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion: Digested in Such Order as to Present to the Pious and Reflecting Mind, a Basis for the Superstructure of the Entire System of the Doctrines of the Gospel.

[8] Ibid.

You Must View God in 3-D

trinityThree in Deity, that is…not in a 3-D movie. This series of posts will address the question of deity among the three persons of the Trinity.  Each part of the trinity will be examined on its own and also as a body of one.  It is necessary to see the Triune God as one being yet consisting of three persons.  It is important for Christians to study this theological mystery to know who to worship, who to pray to and who to believe in.  Some think the Trinity is simply a spiritual power that God uses to complete His will.  These posts will serve to repudiate that theory.

We all know that not everyone will believe everything and some need more facts than others while still there are others that no amount of facts will be enough.  With that said; going forward these posts will assume the reader believes the Holy Bible to be the inerrant and inspired word of God and was authored by God Himself.  The existence of God and the doctrine of the trinity are asserted and declared throughout the testimony of the Bible.  It is for this reason the belief in the Bible must be first and foremost.

William Evans wrote, “The doctrine of the Trinity is, in its last analysis, a deep mystery that cannot be fathomed by the finite mind.  That it is taught in the Scripture, however, there can be no reasonable doubt.  It is a doctrine to be believed even though it cannot be thoroughly understood.”[1]

It is also necessary to understand there is a subordination aspect to the Trinity in that the Son is subordinate to the Father and the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Son and the Father.  This is not a topic to be covered in this thread and I bring it up to separate the subject of equality from deity.  Each part of the Trinity is divine but not in every sense equal.

We as mere mortals can never completely understand the origins of God or the mystery of the Trinity.  With tongue in cheek I enjoy the words of a writer from many years ago that mentioned the doctrine of the trinity justly excites our wonder, and confounds the imbecility of our minds.”[2]  That was well said!

When we think of the doctrine of God we must also think of the Trinity.  The word Trinity is not a Biblical word but it is used by mankind and has been used for ages to describe the magnificent three part manifestation of our one true God as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The word trinity is indicating that God is one being but has three co-existing persons in the Godhead of the Father, the crucified Son and the Holy Spirit.  The word ‘person’ as used to describe the parts of the Trinity, is not used in the same context as a human person. It is however, used to describe the personal relationship between the triune Godhead and signifies the loving relationship between them.[3]

There is a passage in scripture that documents the Trinity pretty well and it is 1 John 5:7, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”  This is surely a clear indication to the three-in-one aspect of the Trinity. It is in the Gospel of John that the most evidence of the Trinity is found.  We find it in the passages of John 1:33-34; 14:16, 26; 16:13-15; 20: 21-22.  Erickson noted an observation by George Henry that illuminated the inter-dynamics of three.  “The son is sent by the Father (14:24) and comes forth from Him. (16:28) The Spirit is given by the Father (14:16), sent from the Father (14:26) and proceeds from the Father. (15:26) Yet the Son is closely involved in the coming of the Spirit: he prays for his coming (14:16); the Father sends the Spirit in the Son’s name (14:26); the Son will send the Spirit from the Father (15:26); the Son must go away so that he can send the Spirit (16:7).  The Spirits ministry is understood as a continuation and elaboration of that of the Son.  He will bring to remembrance what the Son has said (14:26): he will bear witness to the Son (15:26); he will declare what he hears from the Son, this glorifying the Son (16:13-14).”[4]

The doctrine of the Trinity is not specifically mentioned in scripture, however,  there are enough suggestions of the deity and the unity of the three that it is understandable why the church came up with the doctrine and we can also deduct they were correct in developing it.

We are not holding onto this doctrine because it presents itself to us or we understand it.  We hold onto the Trinity because God through His revelation is showing us what He is like.  We want to be like Him.  Try to explain it, and you’ll lose your mind; But try to deny it, and you’ll lose your soul.

In the next post will be an examination of the deity of the three beginning with the Father. Click here to go to PART 2.

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”

 



[1] William Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible (Chicago: Charles Aldarondo, Charles Franks, [1950?]).

[2] Samuel Stanhope Smith, Of the Principles of Revealed Religion; 1st of the Holy Trinity: A Comprehensive View of the Leading and Most Important Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion: Digested in Such Order as to Present to the Pious and Reflecting Mind, a Basis for the Superstructure of the Entire System of the Doctrines of the Gospel. (New Brunswick, NJ, US: Deare & Myer, viii, 1815).

[3] David Horton and Ryan Horton, eds., The Portable Seminary (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2006), 93.

 

[4] Millard J. Erickson, Introducing Christian Doctrine: Second Edition (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Acedemic of Baker Book House, 2004).

Finders Keepers Part 7

God Eternal Security Once saved always saved?  Watch it or you could lose that salvation before you die?

How much more can be said on this subject?  I guess I’ll continue until it becomes exhausted in my mind.  I will continue driving the subject home.

Some want you to believe you cannot be sure. Some want you to think the doctrine of the “Preservation of the Saints is a false doctrine. Some scholars call this theological doctrine the “Perseverance of the Saints”. I prefer the word “Preservation” because it is making an emphasis on the activity of God.  It is He who saves us, it is He preserves us and it is He who keeps us, watches over and protects us.

I will remind you of what has already been written in my previous posts. Being saved has little to do with the response to an altar call or revival meeting emotion.  Being saved has everything to do with faith.  It is having a saving faith and belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Lord, the Son of God.  It is about you the believer being transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said, and I am paraphrasing from memory, “My sheep listen to my voice and I know them and they follow me.  I give them eternal life and no one can snatch them out of my hand.”  I have mentioned this passage before and you can find the reference in a previous post within this subject.  The point is that no one can snatch them away… no one can snatch you away if you have saving faith.

I recently did some work on the deity of God and the trinity doctrine and will put some of it up soon.  One of the points made is even the demons believe in God.  It says in James chapter 2 and verse 19, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”  Let that serve as a lesson to you in that belief in God is one thing and it will not save you.  In order to be saved you must worship, have faith, follow His commandments and trust Him.  Belief in the Lord involves much more than simply acknowledging He exists. So a true believer is one that is transformed, follows Christ and has a changed life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

If that sounds like you and you believe the Bible is the inerrant, inspired and authoritive word of God then you can be assured of your salvation forever.  You can be assured because the Bible states very clearly that we can know that we have eternal life.  Turn to John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

The Bible indicates that we are Children of God. It indicates this in many scriptures of which I will list a few: John 1:12, Hebrews 2: 9-10, Hebrews 12: 5-6, Romans 8:16, Galatians 3:26, Galatians 4:6-7, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:10 and 1 john 5:19.  If you are still a skeptic after all I have written then do this for me.  Please reply to this post with a reference to one verse in the Bible where God disowns one of His children.  You cannot!

I have written previously about how we, the children of God have been predestined.  We have been predestined for salvation even before the creation of the world. Scriptures that tell us of this predestination are listed here: Matthew 20:23, Matthew 25:34, Mark 10:40, John 14:2-3, John 17:2-3, Romans 8: 29-30, Romans 9:223, 1 Corinthians 2:7, 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 4: 11-12 and Hebrews 11:16.  Now I ask again of the unbelievers among you, can you please reply to this post with one verse from God’s word that refutes this?  You cannot!

The Bible also tells us we are heirs of God.  We have an inheritance.  Scriptures that indicate we are heirs of His are: Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29, Galatians 4:7, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Hebrews 7:24-25, 1 Peter 1: 3-4, Ephesians 1:4-6, Ephesians 1:18, Jude 1:1, Revelation 17:14.  Let us turn specifically to Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” To you that doubt, can you reply to this post and tell us of just one verse that leads one to a conclusion that a believer is ever un-called or sent packing?  You cannot!

Scriptures tell us also that believers are chosen by God Himself.  Scriptures that give evidence to this are listed here: Ephesians 1: 11-13, Mark 13:20, Luke 18:7, John 15:16, John 15:19, romans 8:33, Romans 11:5, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, James 2:5, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 17:14, Matthew 22:14 and Revelation 17:14. With the scriptures listed clearly showing a believer is chosen please then, if you are one who thinks you can lose your salvation, reply to this post and cite me just one verse from the Bible that shows God removing a believer from the kingdom.  You cannot.

We are sealed by God when we become saved by His grace.  The Bible says believers are sealed by God for redemption within these verses: 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30 and 2 Timothy 2:19.  Please if you don’t believe, reply to this post with just one verse where God removes the seal from a believer. You cannot.

Believers are glorified by God and the Bible says we will be glorified after death in these verses: Romans 8:17, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, 1 Peter 5:4, 1 Peter 5:10, 1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20, 2 Thessalonians 2:14, 2 Timothy 2:10 and Colossians 3:4.  Now to those that oppose my view I ask for a reply to this post that shows me where in the Bible that God removes that glory from a believer.  You cannot do it.

The Bible shows that we are born again and we have become a new creature when we are saved. Look to these scriptures: John3:3, John3:7, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 peter 1:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 4:23-24.  Now, again I ask for a reply that would show just one verse in the bible where a believer can become unborn after being born-again.  It even sounds silly.

This notion that once someone is saved and has a saving faith in God could lose their salvation is refuted in over 80 verses throughout the Bible.  We, as believers are predestined, called, chosen, sealed and we are children of God that are heirs of the Father along with Christ for our glorification in Heaven.

All of the verses I will list here speak of the promise of eternal life to believers.  This is not an all exhaustive list and not one of them mentions anything about the possibility of losing that eternal life.  Here they are: Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29-30, Luke 18:29-30, John 3:16, John3:36, John5:24, John6:39, John 6:40, John17:2-3, Acts 13:47-48, Romans 5:20-21, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 5;1, Galatians 6:8, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Timothy 6:12, Titus 1:2, Titus 3:5-7, 1John 2:24-25, 1 John 5:11-13, and Jude 1:21. In John 5:24 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Can anyone show me anywhere in the Bible where someone is to return by passing from life unto death?  No… not one verse.

In closing I must say there is one sin that is not forgiven by God.  The sin of blasphemy is not forgiven.  So I suppose some fool could give away by choice all that he has. That is not losing salvation given by Christ but is a conscious turning away. Blasphemy is complete unbelief.  According to the Bible a true believer cannot fall into unbelief.  True believers will persevere even unto the face of opposition.  Recently I heard of a couple Pastors that said they went from belief to unbelief.  I say they never really found out what true faith is and never were anointed by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:8 says, “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Once saved, we are confirmed unto the end and we are always saved, so that we will be blameless in the day of our Lord.  Amen!

God bless your day,

“The Tubthumper”

 

 

Finders Keepers, part 6

eternal-security-of-the-believerWe have been reviewing the evidence and the reasons a believer in Christ remains saved for eternity.  Sealed until the day of redemption. On your own you can review these three verses, Psalm 40:23, Isaiah 42:10 and Revelation 21:1-2.  What you will see is that all these verses have one thing in common.  All these passages have the concept of “new”“Behold I make all things new.”

The sixth new thing a believer has is a new knowledge in Christ. To back this up let us turn to the most comforting verse in the Bible. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”, Romans 8:28. Please remember this verse does not say that all things will be good.  What it says is that God will work all things together for good.   Even the wrath of man and our own stupidity, sins and mistakes will be used by Him and He will work it together for good. Praise God!  In the fullness of time He will work things for His own Glory.  God allows things to come into our lives for reason.  He has a plan.  His plan allows things into our lives for His glory and also to our good.  This only applies to those that love God.  To those that belong to Him. For those that love God there is the new knowledge of a happy ending. If you love God and you are saved you know what the end is and you know it is a time of joy. The last chapter in the book reveals “The Bridegroom gets the Bride!”

The last new thing you have as a believer is a new goal. Your new goal is to be conformed to the image of Christ.  “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:29-32) Your predestination is to be conformed.  The believer is predestined to be ‘like Christ’. To be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

To carry this one step further we can look at our job in the great commission.  Our job then (after salvation and maturity in the word) is to disciple others.  It is to help in the conformation and help as many people as we can to be more like Jesus. We can get to work right away.

The believer is predestined and there are 5 steps leading to the goal of conformation.

1) You were already known. God knows the believer even before birth. “He did foreknow” the believer. (Romans 8:29) David laments that God knew him before he was born, “O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there…” (Psalm 139).  He knew John the Baptist, the babe leaped in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth.  Jeremiah said, “Thou knew thee while in the womb”.

2) “He…did predestinate” the believer. (Romans 8:29)

3) “He… called” the believer. (Romans 8:30) Actually if this isn’t the strongest verse pointing to once saved, always saved I don’t know which would be. So it deserves repeating now, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30) If, in the mind of God we are already glorified in Heaven; how then could we ever lose our salvation here on earth?  That would be the $Trillion dollar question of the day. You were called, you were justified and you were glorified. AMEN!

4) “He…justified” the believer. (Romans 8:30)

5) “He…glorified” the believer. (Romans 8:30) This sounds like it is in the past-tense but it really is not. You and I are not glorified yet because you still have a sinful nature but you will be glorified. God wants it in past-tense because He already glorified us in heaven. Given this, how then can you ever lose this guarantee? You cannot.

You have an absolute guarantee of this goal.  It is iron-clad and it is God that justifieth.  The same judge that once condemned us now justifies us. God places you, the believer under His protection.  “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Romans 8:34) You see, He paid for us at Calvary.  He also provided for us with the empty tomb with the resurrection and He prays for us at God’s right hand. (Intercession)

So then? Who or what could possible separate you from the love of Jesus Christ if you are truly a believer and know for a fact you are sure in your salvation? No-one, nothing, notta!  Let us turn to Romans 8:35-36, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Shall tribulation (outward pressure) separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall distress (inward pressure) separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall persecution separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall famine separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall nakedness separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall peril separate us from Christ? NO!

Shall sword separate us from Christ? NO!

Let us look at the answer Paul gave in verses 37-39 of Romans 8, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  He has confirmed for us that in matters relating to God for those of us that believe and love Christ there is NO SEPARATION.

I would go so far now as to say that anyone wanting to argue they can lose their salvation once they have it are in fact arguing against the words of Paul the Apostle.  I won’t do that.

We are more than conquerors!  Through Him that loves us.

I may have adequately made my point by now; however, I may come back in the next post with more. Watch for a possible 7th post continuing this process of adding evidence for “once saved, always saved.

Believe and live,

The Tubthumper

Use these links to jump to any previous posts on this series:

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5