John MacArthur – Grace to You – Bible Q & A
Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. (1 Peter 3:15)
Christians must be ready to make a defense of the faith. The Greek term for defense (apologia) is the word from which the English terms apology and apologetics derive. It often means a formal defense in a judicial courtroom (cf. Acts 25:16; 2 Tim. 4:16), but Paul also used the word informally to denote his ability to answer those who questioned him (Phil. 1:16). Always indicates believers’ need for constant preparedness and readiness to respond, whether in a formal courtroom or informally, to everyone who asks them to give an account for why they live and believe the way they do. Account is simply logos, “word,” or “message,” and it calls saints to be able at the time someone asks (present tense) to give the right words in response to questions about the gospel.
The gospel is identified as the hope that is in believers. Hope is synonymous with the Christian faith because the motive for believers’ embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is their anticipation of escaping hell and entering eternal glory (cf. Acts 26:6; Eph. 1:18; 4:4; Col. 1:23; Heb. 10:23). Thus hope becomes the focal point of any rational explanation believers should be able to provide regarding their salvation.
The believer’s defense of this hope before the unbeliever who asks must be firm and uncompromising, but at the same time conveyed with gentleness and reverence. Gentleness refers to meekness or humility, not in the sense of weakness but in the sense of not being dominant or overbearing (cf. Eph. 4:15, “speaking the truth in love”). The Lord Himself was characterized by this virtue, as was Paul: “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:1a).
Reverence expresses devotion to God, a deep regard for His truth, and even respect for the person listening (Col. 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:24–26).
Christians who cannot present a biblically clear explanation of their faith (cf. 1 Thess. 5:19–22; 1 John 2:14) will be insecure when strongly challenged by unbelievers (cf. Eph. 4:14–15). In some cases that insecurity can undermine their assurance of salvation. The world’s attacks can overwhelm those who have not “put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8; cf. Eph. 6:10–17).
Source : http://www.macarthurcommentaries.com/Archive.aspx?question=323#
Copyright 2011, Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Q: How about if somebody will tell you that ” ALL Christian doctrines and teachings coming from the WEST are all false and not true, to which yours is included” is this true?
I do not quite understand the point which you are trying to make, nor do I understand the question as to whether “this” is true. What are you referring to? What do mean by WEST as opposed to East?
Firstly, no true Christian doctrine comes from the West, or from the East. True Christian doctrines originate in the Holy Bible, which is from God. Any doctrine or teaching which is not from the Word of God should not be believed. The Holy Bible is the complete Word of God, nothing can be added, changed or removed.
Secondly, if someone were to assert that Christian doctrines which originate from the Word of God (the Bible) are false, whether in the West or in the East, that would need to include the assertion that God is a liar.
Thirdly, ALL Christian doctrines and teachings which are taught by true Western Christians, are the same doctrines and teachings as taught by true Eastern Christians, true Southern Christians, true Northern Christians, true living Christians and were also taught by true Christians who have gone to their eternal abode with God in heaven.
Fourthly, no Christian doctrine true Christian teaching has ever changed since the Word of God was written. Those doctrines are all true and are verified by the Holy Spirit.
dove124, are you a believer? If not, how about if I told you that it is true that there is a way that you could live FOREVER?
All doctrines that comes from the west in our present time are ALL FALSE DOCTRINE. For how can somebody who are in sunset can shed light to those who are in sunrise ? It should be the other way around. That is why Jesus Christ was born in the east(sunrise), so HE can shed light to those who are in darkness.
Now, understand these verses; (Daniel 12: 9-10)
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and SEALED till the time of the end.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried ; But the wicked shall do wickedly : and NONE of the wicked shall understand ; but the WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND.
We are now living in the “Time of the End”, but, can this time of the end just pass us by without hope to be able to “understand”? How about you? Can you be able to show us the former things?
I have approved your comment, although it does seem that your intent is simply to present a malicious argument with no biblical support. If that is the case, be assured that your future comments of this nature will not be considered or approved.
As you seem not to have read or understood my previous comment to you, I repeat what I said before, that no Christian doctrine comes from the East or West, but only from the Holy Bible, so you fail to make a valid point.
You also completely misappropriate the understanding of Daniel 12:9-10, the true meaning of which you can read for yourself in many of the available Bible commentaries, or simply by a correct understanding of that prophecy from Scripture.
I ask you again: Do you believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ alone? If not, you should live in fear of what you call the “Time of the End”.
“Grace ALONE through Faith ALONE”? It’s not biblical. Where did you got this wild ideas ? Surely not in the bible?
Consider the following verses :
And beside this,giving all diligence, ADD to your faith VIRTUE;and to virtue KNOWLEDGE; and to knowledge TEMPERANCE; and to temperance PATIENCE; and to patience GODLINESS; and to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS ; and to brotherly kindness CHARITY.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lack these things is BLIND, and CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sin.(2 Peter 1:5-9)
And another thing, your comment that “that no Christian doctrine comes from the East or West, BUT FROM THE HOLY BIBLE”, is erroneous . True , you can read the bible, but understanding it’s content is another thing. For if it’s true, that that those from the West understand it’s content, they should had had abide in one teaching, but sad to say, they were not. Each to their own teaching.
Remember this verses ?
There is ONE body, ONE Spirit, even as ye are called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord , ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, and in you all.(Ephesians 4:4-6)
If any man will do HIS will, he shall know of THE DOCTRINE, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.(John 7:17)
And by the way,have an open mind. My comments are not malicious, as you might though it to be. As it is written, ” Come now, and LET US REASON TOGETHER…”(Isaiah 1:18)
You quote 2 Peter 1:5-9. It says ADD to your faith… and then tells us what to add. But where does that faith come from to which we must add? From these works, or do these works come from faith?
1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1) Are you saying that there are no saved Christians in the West and that only those in the East are led by the Holy Spirit?
2) Are you saying that biblical doctrine is from the East and not from the Bible?
3) Where is the East you refer to, exactly?
4) Are you referring to one of the many different Eastern Orthodox churches? If so, why are there so many different ones?
5) Why are some of the Eastern churches in the West? Or are they no longer Eastern?
You are confusing yourself with ridiculous interpretations. Please let the Gospel help you understand that the East and the West, the North or the South have nothing to do with salvation. The Word of God is not from an earthly hemisphere.
You quote also:
There is ONE body, ONE Spirit, even as ye are called in ONE hope of your calling; ONE Lord , ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of all, and in you all.
1) Does Eph 4:4-6 only apply to those in the East and is the ONE body only in the East?
2) Are only those in the East called?
3) What about those who were born and saved in the East, but have moved to the West? Are they no longer called?
Please answer the above questions honestly, so that others can understand where you get your information from.
I ask you again: Do you believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ alone? If not, you should live in fear of what you call the “Time of the End”.
Here is scripture for you and i cannot believe you reject this!!
Ephesians 2:8 (Amplified Bible)
For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
your comment seems outright blasphemous ! It is an absolute insult to the Word of God and any true Christian reading here.
What do you believe in then, if you think by Grace alone, thru Faith Alone is a “wild” idea and unbiblical, what have you smoked ?
True to what was written, and it is applied to you also;
Act 28:26= Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye may hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye may see, and not perceive.
Now, I gonna ask you,where can you find the word “ALONE” in the verses that you gave ?
And also, I may ask you, where are you gonna be saved ? Saved you from what? Tell me? you can even ask assistance from your beloved “so called pastor”.
This is an instance that the saying of Jesus Christ is true. Outside the Church of God, all these things are done in parable.
I am not sure why you are giving me the verse in Acts but here is my understanding of the Scripture you refer to and it should be read in context.
Act 28:26 “‘Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. ESV
Mathew Henry concise commentary :
Paul persuaded the Jews concerning Jesus. Some were wrought upon by the word, and others hardened; some received the light, and others shut their eyes against it. And the same has always been the effect of the gospel. Paul parted with them, observing that the Holy Ghost had well described their state. Let all that hear the gospel, and do not heed it, tremble at their doom; for who shall heal them, if God does not? The Jews had afterwards much reasoning among themselves. Many have great reasoning, who do not reason aright. They find fault with one another’s opinions, yet will not yield to truth. Nor will men’s reasoning among themselves convince them, without the grace of God to open their understandings. While we mourn on account of such despisers, we should rejoice that the salvation of God is sent to others, who will receive it; and if we are of that number, we should be thankful to Him who hath made us to differ. The apostle kept to his principle, to know and preach nothing but Christ and him crucified. Christians, when tempted from their main business, should bring themselves back with this question, What does this concern the Lord Jesus? What tendency has it to bring us to him, and to keep us walking in him? The apostle preached not himself, but Christ, and he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Though Paul was placed in a very narrow opportunity for being useful, he was not disturbed in it. Though it was not a wide door that was opened to him, yet no man was suffered to shut it; and to many it was an effectual door, so that there were saints even in Nero’s household, Phi_4:22. We learn also from Phi_1:13, how God overruled Paul’s imprisonment for the furtherance of the gospel. And not the residents at Rome only, but all the church of Christ, to the present day, and in the most remote corner of the globe, have abundant reason to bless God, that during the most mature period of his Christian life and experience, he was detained a prisoner. It was from his prison, probably chained hand to hand to the soldier who kept him, that the apostle wrote the epistles to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Hebrews; epistles showing, perhaps more than any others, the Christian love with which his heart overflowed, and the Christian experience with which his soul was filled. The believer of the present time may have less of triumph, and less of heavenly joy, than the apostle, but every follower of the same Saviour, is equally sure of safety and peace at the last. Let us seek to live more and more in the love of the Saviour; to labour to glorify Him by every action of our lives; and we shall assuredly, by his strength, be among the number of those who now overcome our enemies; and by his free grace and mercy, be hereafter among the blessed company who shall sit with Him upon his throne, even as He also has overcome, and is sitting on his Father’s throne, at God’s right hand for evermore.
I was saved by grace alone trough faith alone not of my own doing, but by the grace and mercy of God. you want to know where ? what is the relevance ? Those like my self whom believe in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sin’s will be saved from eternal damnation in hell.
I never said the word Alone was in the verses.
Have you heard of the 5 Solas before?
1 Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
2 Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
3 Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
4 Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
5 Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
Here is a start for you : The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” in English. The five solas articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which had in the reformers’ mind usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the pope.
“Why is sola fide important?”
Answer: Sola fide which means “faith alone” is important because it is one of the distinguishing characteristics or key points that separate the true biblical Gospel from false gospels. At stake is the very Gospel itself and it is therefore a matter of eternal life or death. Getting the Gospel right is of such importance that the Apostle Paul would write in Galatians 1:9, “As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” Paul was addressing the same question that sola fide addresses—on what basis is man declared by God to be justified? Is it by faith alone or by faith combined with works? Paul makes it clear in Galatians and Romans that man is “justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law” (Galatians 2:16), and the rest of the Bible concurs.
Sola fide is one of the five solas that came to define and summarize the key issues of the Protestant Reformation. Each of these Latin phrases represents a key area of doctrine that was an issue of contention between the Reformers and the Roman Catholic Church, and today they still serve to summarize key doctrines essential to the Gospel and to Christian life and practice. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” and the essential Christian doctrines represented by these five Latin phrases accurately summarize the biblical teaching on these crucial subjects: sola scriptura—Scripture alone, sola fide—faith alone, sola gratia—grace alone, sola Christus—Christ alone, and sola Deo gloria—for the glory of God alone. Each one is vitally important, and they are all closely tied together. Deviation from one will lead to error in another essential doctrine, and the result will almost always be a false gospel which is powerless to save.
Sola fide or faith alone is a key point of difference between not only Protestants and Catholics but between biblical Christianity and almost all other religions and teachings. The teaching that we are declared righteous by God (justified) on the basis of our faith alone and not by works is a key doctrine of the Bible and a line that divides most cults from biblical Christianity. While most religions and cults teach men what works they must do to be saved, the Bible teaches that we are not saved by works, but by God’s grace through His gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Biblical Christianity is distinct from every other religion in that it is centered on what God has accomplished through Christ’s finished work, while all other religions are based on human achievement. If we abandon the doctrine of justification by faith, we abandon the only way of salvation. “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5). The Bible teaches that those that trust Jesus Christ for justification by faith alone are imputed with His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), while those who try to establish their own righteousness or mix faith with works will receive the punishment due to all who fall short of God’s perfect standard.
Sola fide—the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from works—is simply recognizing what is taught over and over in Scripture—that at some point in time God declares ungodly sinners righteous by imputing Christ’s righteousness to them (Romans 4:5, 5:8, 5:19). This happens apart from any works and before the individual actually begins to become righteous. This is an important distinction between Catholic theology that teaches righteous works are meritorious towards salvation and Protestant theology that affirms the biblical teaching that righteous works are the result and evidence of a born-again person who has been justified by God and regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How important is sola fide? It is so important to the Gospel message and a biblical understanding of salvation that Martin Luther described it as being “the article with and by which the church stands.” Those who reject sola fide reject the only Gospel that can save them and by necessity embrace a false gospel. That is why Paul so adamantly denounces those who taught law-keeping or other works of righteousness in Galatians 1:9 and other passages. Yet today this important biblical doctrine is once again under attack. Too often sola fide is relegated to secondary importance instead of being recognized as an essential doctrine of Christianity, which it certainly is.
“Consider Abraham: ‘He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’ Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Galatians 3:6-11).
Recommended Resource: Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification by R.C. Sproul.
you may find the other 4 Solas here : http://www.gotquestions.org
I did not said nor implied in any way that there will be no saved people in the west or in any part of the globe, if it is outside the Church of God that is in the bible, God judged. What I’m telling you, is the doctrine of all the so called churches in the West. They are not biblical. Like your doctrine, for example; Grace ALONE,Faith ALONE SAVES. this is not biblical. Cause you see, how about those people who have not heard of the bible, of Jesus Christ, are you telling me that they will not be saved ? How about the MORONS, even though they are matured in appearance, but their IQ is of one year old child, are you gonna condemn them to hell, because they never heard of Grace ALONE or Faith ALONE doctrine?
2. The true Doctrine must come from the East, starting from Jerusalem. That means to say , NOT adulterated doctrine.
3.Since we are already in the “Time of the End”, there is a prophesy in the bible for a group of believers in a certain islands in the sea.
# I am sought of them that asked not for me, I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.(Isaiah 65:1)
# I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, TO THE ISLES AFAR OFF, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory: And THEY SHALL DECLARE MY GLORY among the Gentiles.(Isaiah 66:19)
# From the RISING OF THE SUN shall he call upon my name(Isaiah 41:25)
# And gathered them out of the lands,FROM THE EAST,and from the west, from the north, and from the south (Psalms 107:3)
#Other verses : Isaiah 24:15 ; 42:4,10, 12,; 51:5;
4. NO !… Orthodox churches are written in Rev.13:11
5. I’m not referring to these churches, they are not the true Church. The Roman Catholic Churches and it’s children and the Orthodox churches and it’s children are the so called “gates of hell”(Mat.16:18)
To the other questions:
1. YES! This is only one of the many true doctrine that is being taught in the Church. And it is being propagated through out the world, so the people of God , who are able to hear the DOCTRINE, may join to this BODY. Therefore they shall BECOME ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT,ONE HOPE of your calling, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD, and FATHER OF ALL.
2. NO. The salvation will start from the East, going to the West and in betweens.Right now , we are busy in Latin America.
3. They will be called also. And do not be afraid for this people, if they obey the laws written in their heart, they will do will.
Now to answer your irritating and erroneous question,….NO.
This is what we believed : We were once dead(spiritually),then we were able to hear the Doctrine of God. The Lord looked down from heaven upon us TO SEE if we understand and SEEK GOD. When HE found out that we understand and did SEEK HIM, the Father called us, and we approach Him, and translated us to the Kingdom of His dear SON, Jesus Christ. So now Christ Jesus reign in our heart.So , we work a work that we could not boast , for how can we boast, Christ Jesus is the one that work with us. And we will work a good work up to the end with fear and trembling.
I pray that you understand the points I’m expounding to you.
I am certainly finding it difficult to understand what it is exactly that you believe in. Some of the things you say seem Biblical and yet others are not. Maybe it is simply that we speak a language difference, or maybe we differ completely in our understanding of the Bible, or maybe we don’t read the same book?
I will try to make sense of what you are trying to say, but forgive me if I’m misunderstanding your position. Let’s take it one step at a time again. Here are some of points that the true Gospel of Jesus tells us. I’ll try to keep what I say as simple as possible.
I do not believe in any doctrine that originates in any church, whether the church is in the East or the West. I only believe the doctrine that is in the Bible. Any church or person, anywhere on the planet, that believes in any doctrine which is unbiblical cannot be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. There is no other way to salvation, I believe this because the Bible says so and I believe Word of God.
I believe that fallen man is dead in sin, because of the original sin described in Genesis, and will not have eternal life or be saved unless we accept the sacrifice which Jesus Christ made for man’s sin. I believe that God loved us and that He provided a way for us to escape the eternal punishment for our sin through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to pay for the sins of all who believe in Him.
(John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, because He said so: (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I believe that I will burn in hell for eternity because of my sin, if I do not have Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
I believe that I can do nothing to help save myself because Jesus Christ says so:
(Gal 2:15) We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
(Eph 2:8) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
2:9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Neither of the above verses add anything to the word “faith”. If there was more expected of us to do other than to have faith, surely the Word of God would have told us so. Faith is a gift given to us by God and is only made possible by us receiving His Holy Spirit, Who regenerates our own dead spirit (Act 2:38) And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
I believe that no accountable sinner other than those who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be saved. To know what that Gospel says, we have to accept and understand the basic Gospel as is in the Bible. Therefore, those who do not hear the Word of God cannot believe in Jesus Christ and cannot be saved. (Eph 1:13) In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Because all have sinned and deserve eternal punishment for sin, those who do not hear and do not believe cannot be saved. No one deserves to saved to start with anyway, because all are dead in sin. Furthermore, no one seeks God and no one understands God as you say we can: (Rom 3:11) no one understands; no one seeks for God.
So your question as to what happens to those who have not heard of Jesus is: yes, they will go to hell, because Jesus said so, and they can only be saved through the blood of the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
(Rom 5:12) Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–
5:13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
5:14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Jesus died once to pay for the sins of all, that includes all people throughout the world and throughout history who can be held accountable for their sin.
(Heb 9:25) Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own,
9:26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
You ask about those who are unable to understand the Gospel such as mentally handicapped people, whom you refer to as morons. Those who are incapable of understanding sin can not be accountable for sin in the same way that we are, and are saved by the Grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, because He laid down His life as a perfect and complete sacrifice for all. We do know that Jesus receives as His own all that the Father has given to Him and He will lose none of them along the way (John 6:39) . Jesus said of these “And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand” (John 10:28). God’s plan is perfect, He always does what is right and just, and His love and mercy are infinite and everlasting.
I believe that God is true to His Word, and that this is also part of that Word, and these words could cover those who are mentally ill or too young to be held accountable:
(Mat 5:3) “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Mat 5:5) “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
(Mat 5:8) “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Jesus also said:
(Mat 19:14) but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
I believe that true doctrine comes from God, not from the East or the West.
(Isaiah 65:1) which you quote refers to the Gentiles, in other words all of the nations who were not called by His name, which was all the nations other than the Jews, who were known as God’s people.
(Isaiah 66:19) tells of a sign which God will set amongst those who are to take the Gospel to all of the world. The sign (Jesus) is to protect those who take the Gospel to the places such as “Tarshish”, a word sometimes used for the sea; “the nations in the sea”; or, as the Targum, the province of the sea, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow both countries in Africa, famous for archery (Pul an island upon the Nile, above Syene, between Ethiopia and Egypt,) to Tubal and Javan; which is Italy and Greece: and the isles afar off; even as far as the West Indies. What places and countries are exactly and precisely meant cannot be determined; only, in general, that into various parts of the world, east, west, north, and south, even the most distant, the Gospel and Gospel ministers shall be sent.
This indicates that the Gospel is to be taken by Christians to the whole world to fulfill prophecy. It is part of our duty to spread the good news to all people. (Mat 28:19-20) “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Isaiah 41:25) speaks about the NORTH aswell, possibly referring to Constantine or Cyrus. Comparing in the same chapter (Isaiah 41:2) speaks of the East, making Cyrus the more likely. Either way, that prophecy has come to pass, all that remains is rejection or acceptance of Jesus’ bodily resurrection and His atonement. Salvation has come, the price has been paid, the Savior is seated at the right hand of the Father right now. The longer you reject that, the greater your chances of eternal punishment for waiting for a different savior from the East.
(Psalm 107:3) speaks about believers in the Savior from all over the globe, which is why all the directions are mentioned. The fact that it mentions East before West and North before South is simply language usage and does not mean that salvation will be in the East first! (Mat 24:31) And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Regarding (Rev 13:11) , on this point we seem to agree.
I believe the true Church is that church which Jesus speaks about in (Mat 16:18) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. That church constitutes all born again Christians throughout the world since Pentecost (Act 2:1) When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven
I believe that the true church is a single body made up of all believers who have been saved by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, by the Grace of God, and that the universal and invisible church is therefore not bound by geographical lines. I believe that the true church is not restricted to any particular denomination, people or region, because the Bible says so. What church do you belong to and what is it that they are they busy doing in Latin America at present?
I believe that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, because the Bible says so. I believe that the Bible is the sole source of Truth in which the way to eternal life is laid out. That is non-negotiable for any person who wishes to escape eternal separation from God, it is the most essential doctrine in the Bible. The teaching that we are declared righteous by God (justified) on the basis of our faith alone and not by works is what separates most cults from biblical Christianity.
While most religions and cults teach men what works they must do to be saved, the Bible teaches that we are not saved by works, but by God’s grace through His gift of faith (Eph 2:8-9) . Biblical Christianity is distinct from every other religion in that it is centered on what God has accomplished through Christ’s finished work, while all other religions are based on human achievement. If we abandon the doctrine of justification by faith, we abandon the only way of salvation.
I believe in deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin, is granted to those who accept, by faith, God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Salvation is available in Jesus alone.
For the third time, I remind you: Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ alone. If you reject that, you should live in fear of what you call the “Time of the End”.
If, as you say, this is still irritating to you, then you should also know that it is your conscience, or an incorrect teaching you follow, that is the source of your irritation and you should take another look at the Truth, that is in the Holy Bible.
If you still reject the Biblical doctrine of salvation, and think that my question is erroneous, then you must also reject the Bible which is not from the West but from God.
Can you provide a link to a website or some more detailed information that I can read up on your church or your beliefs?
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your comments are being held for moderation. They may be answered as soon as we have time and it could take a couple of days. Please be patient.
We have only had time to look at your links provided, they are still under scrutiny however thus far it is troublesome as it seems you are part of a cult like movement based in the Philipino islands. Please also note we cannot place the links to your websites here as they are not representative of the truth.
Question: “What does it mean that Jesus saves?”
Answer: “Jesus saves” is a popular slogan on bumper stickers, signs at athletic events, and even banners being pulled across the sky by small airplanes. Sadly, few who see the phrase “Jesus saves” truly and fully understand what it means. There is a tremendous amount of power and truth packed into those two words.
Jesus saves, but who is Jesus?
Most people understand that Jesus was a man who lived in Israel approximately 2000 years ago. Virtually every religion in the world views Jesus as a good teacher and/or a prophet. And while those things are most definitely true of Jesus, they do not capture who Jesus truly is, nor do they explain how or why Jesus saves. Jesus is God in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God, come to Earth, as a true human being (1 John 4:2). God became a human being in the person of Jesus in order to save us. That brings up the next question: why do we need to be saved?
Jesus saves, but why do we need to be saved?
The Bible declares that every human being who has ever lived has sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). To sin is to do something, whether in thought, word, or deed, that contradicts God’s perfect and holy character. Because of our sin, we all deserve judgment from God (John 3:18, 36). God is perfectly just, so He cannot allow sin and evil to go unpunished. Since God is infinite and eternal, and since all sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), only an infinite and eternal punishment is sufficient. Eternal death is the only just punishment for sin. That is why we need to be saved.
Jesus saves, but how does He save?
Because we have sinned against an infinite God, either a finite person (us) must pay for our sins for an infinite amount of time, or an infinite Person (Jesus) must pay for our sins one time. There is no other option. Jesus saves us by dying in our place. In the person of Jesus Christ, God sacrificed Himself on our behalf, paying the infinite and eternal penalty only He could pay (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:2). Jesus took the punishment that we deserve in order to save us from a horrible eternal destiny, the just consequence of our sin. Because of His great love for us, Jesus laid down His life (John 15:13), paying the penalty that we had earned, but could not pay. Jesus was then resurrected, demonstrating that His death was indeed sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins (1 Corinthians 15).
Jesus saves, but who does He save?
Jesus saves all who will receive His gift of salvation. Jesus saves all those who fully trust in His sacrifice alone as the payment for sin (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). While Jesus’ sacrifice was perfectly sufficient to pay for the sins of all humanity, Jesus only saves those who personally receive His most precious of gifts (John 1:12).
If you now understand what it means that Jesus saves, and you want to trust in Him as your personal Savior, make sure you understand and believe the following, and as an act of faith, communicate the following to God. “God, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that because of my sin I deserve to be eternally separated from you. Even though I do not deserve it, thank you for loving me and providing the sacrifice for my sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died for my sins and I trust in Him alone to save me. From this point forward, help me to live my life for you instead of for sin. Help me to live the rest of my life in gratitude for the wonderful salvation you have provided. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me!”
How Firm Our Foundation
Let me ask you a theological question: Are you born again which results in your believing in Christ, or does your faith in Christ result in your being born again? Maybe you think I’m just playing with words, but how you answer that question significantly affects what you believe about man’s sin, God’s salvation, and more important, your eternal security.
Natural Born Sinners
The Bible is crystal clear about our condition before we came to Christ. All of us come from a different personal background. I may be from a poor family, whereas you come from a rich family; others of us lived moral lives, while still others lived shameful, ungodly lives. Whatever the case, we were all sinners in need of a Savior.
That’s exactly what the Bible tells us in Romans 1:18-32; 3:9-18 and Ephesians 4:17-19. Those passages reveal a couple of important truths about our sinful nature.
First, we were separated from any true, intimate fellowship with God, and we lacked spiritual understanding of His ways. For example, Romans 3:11 says, “There is none who seeks after God,” and Ephesians 4:18 speaks to how we were “darkened,” “alienated,” “ignorant,” and “blind.” Sounds harsh, doesn’t it.
Second, we were spiritual rebels. Romans 3:18 specifically says we had “no fear of God” before our eyes; and Romans 1:18 explains how we all suppressed the truth of God, trying to excuse away our obligation to Him. Rather than choosing to live in obedience to God’s laws, we willingly gave ourselves over to lewdness and uncleanness.
In short, when we were all without Christ, we hated God and wanted nothing to do with Him.
If our salvation had been left up to us, we would never have sought it. Nothing could have persuaded us or moved us to faith in Christ, not even the most eloquent preachers or the most compelling arguments. We would have cheerfully continued living lives in willful disobedience to God.
That’s a bleak description, but according to the Bible, it is the spiritual reality of all people, without exception. The only hope we have is a miracle—a profound and radical change of our hearts and minds.
Born Again from Above
Thankfully, the Bible tells us the miraculous change we need has happened before, and it continues to happen. In theological terms, the change is called regeneration. Regeneration occurs when God’s Spirit performs a supernatural work to change our hearts. In a sermon on the subject of regeneration, John MacArthur described it as God producing new life.
For those of us who have experienced the miracle of regeneration, we testify to the reality of a new spiritual life. We no longer desire to seek a sinful lifestyle, but we turn toward belief in the gospel and the pursuit of godliness. It’s a work that turned us from being God haters to being God lovers.
You’ll find the doctrine of regeneration throughout the Scriptures.
Notice how the apostle John describes regeneration as new birth. In John 3:1-15, Jesus told Nicodemus that to see the Kingdom of God, he had to be “born again,” or “born from above.” Jesus continued to explain the new birth as a divine work, something God does. John later used that same terminology, “born of God,” in his first epistle— 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, and 18.
Paul wrote about regeneration in terms of being raised from the dead. Ephesians 2:5 says sinners who were once “dead in sins” have been “made alive with Christ” (cf. Colossians 2:13). And in Titus 3:5, Paul is explicit—“He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit.”
James uses the expression brought us forth to describe regeneration in James 1:18, and Peter used a description similar to John’s when he defined regeneration as born again or begetting anew in 1 Peter 1:23.
Thinking About Our New Life
If we consider what the Bible teaches about the sinful state of men and our need for regeneration, the certainty of our eternal security comes into sharp focus.
First, regeneration is a divine work. It originates with our omnipotent God. He alone is the one who initiates the work of regeneration, changing our sinful hearts to seek out His Son for salvation. I like how the apostle John put it in his gospel, “who were born [that’s regeneration], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).
When God performed His regenerating work in our hearts, He implanted a new principle of righteousness. We are re-oriented toward God so that we now understand spiritual things and no longer wish to pursue ungodliness.
Paul pictures this divine work as a new creation. He wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that if we are in Christ, “we are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” By definition a “new creation” is something that never before existed.
As Christians, you and I are something new, specially brought into existence by God. As new creations, we now see things with an eternal perspective. Old desires, beliefs, philosophies, and mindsets are “done away with.”
Since God is the author of regeneration, His power is the guarantee that the new life He created will carry out the characteristics of that new life. God did not bring new creations into existence so they would continue pursuing sin.
So, think about it. If we could lose our salvation, what does that say about the power of God to change us? How could we trust God in other areas of our lives, or in anything, if His saving power may end up being powerless?
Second, regeneration is a purposeful work. Paul explains in Ephesians 2:4-10 that the key reason God raised us up in regeneration was so His grace, love, and kindness would be on display. We are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2:10). God has regenerated us for a purpose: to display His glory in our lives. If we could lose our salvation, which would defeat the purpose of God changing us to begin with, then what would be the point of saving us? How could passages like Ephesians 2:10 still be true?
Third, regeneration is permanent. All the passages about God’s regenerating power reveal it as a permanent work. In fact, so permanent is His work that Paul can speak of our future glorification in the past tense – Romans 8:30; God has predestined, called, justified, and glorified us. Our salvation is so certain, so sure, it’s like we are already in heaven with God!
Now, let me come back to the question I raised at the beginning. What’s the sequence—do we first believe in Christ, and then become born again? Or, are we born again and then put our faith in Christ? What you believe about that sequence has everything to do with your understanding of the new birth, and more to the point of this series, the permanence of divine salvation.
If faith comes first, and then the new birth, it will be easy for you to fall into the error of conditional security. After all, if your personal faith initiated your new life in Christ, it makes sense that your faithlessness can remove you from that relationship too. (I say it makes sense because it’s a logical conclusion, but it has no biblical support.)
However, if you understand and accept what the Bible teaches about the new birth, you recognize it was God and God alone who produced your new life in Christ. And that makes all the difference in the world.
If the almighty God brought you forth by the word of truth (James 1:18), if the sovereign God purposed to elect and glorify you—and God’s power and purpose are never thwarted—then you have a rock-solid foundation for absolute confidence in divine salvation. If you are truly saved, then you truly possess eternal life.
Volunteer Ministries Coordinator
Source : http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B110321_How-Firm-Our-Foundation#.TluEXF2C7T0
Tit 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
Tit 3:10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
Tit 3:11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Mathew Henry Concise commentary :
When the grace of God towards mankind has been declared, the necessity of good works is pressed. Those who believe in God, must make it their care to maintain good works, to seek opportunities for doing them, being influenced by love and gratitude. Trifling, foolish questions must be avoided, and subtle distinctions and vain inquiries; nor should people be eager after novelties, but love sound doctrine which tends most to edifying. Though we may now think some sins light and little, if the Lord awaken the conscience, we shall feel even the smallest sin heavy upon our souls.
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Nothing is pressed more earnestly in the Scriptures, than to walk as becomes those called to Christ’s kingdom and glory. By lowliness, understand humility, which is opposed to pride. By meekness, that excellent disposition of soul, which makes men unwilling to provoke, and not easily to be provoked or offended. We find much in ourselves for which we can hardly forgive ourselves; therefore we must not be surprised if we find in others that which we think it hard to forgive. There is one Christ in whom all believers hope, and one heaven they are all hoping for; therefore they should be of one heart. They had all one faith, as to its object, Author, nature, and power. They all believed the same as to the great truths of religion; they had all been admitted into the church by one baptism, with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as the sign of regeneration. In all believers God the Father dwells, as in his holy temple, by his Spirit and special grace. (Matthew Henry )