Kersfees: Nugter nagedink oor 25 Desember

christmas-tree-blue cool

Grant Swart

Ek het groot waardering en respek vir God se kinders wat radikaal heilig wil lewe en in alle dinge die wil van God eerste probeer stel. Dis immers in ooreenstemming met  die duidelike opdrag in 1 Petrus 1:16 “Wees heilig, want Ek is heilig!”  Aan die anderkant is daar wel ook Christene wat ‘n behae daarin skep om hare te kloof en andere skuldig te laat voel oor nietige randsake. (moontlik as gevolg van onkunde)

Een so ‘n saak is die vraag : “Mag ‘n Christen Kersfees vier?”


VASTE FEITE

Kom ons begin met die nugtere stel van ‘n paar feite wat vas staan en waaroor almal behoort saam te stem :

Feit nommer een is : Jesus is nie op 25 Desember gebore nie. 

Verder:

  • Die groot meerderheid van mense op aarde vier Kersfees op ‘n goddelose en Godonterende manier (met vreet op aarde in plaas van vrede op aarde)* 
  • Daar is geen Bybelse bevel om Kersfees as ‘n feesdag te vier nie.
  • Daar is wel duidelike Skrifgedeeltes wat die geboorte/menswording van Jesus beskryf.
  • Daar is wel toegewyde gelowiges wat Kersfees vier op ‘n Godverheerlikende wyse.
  • Daar is ook opregte Christene wat niks met Kersfees te doen wil hê nie en dit as deur en deur heidens beskou.

Uit bogenoemde is dit klaar duidelik dat Christene verdeeld is oor hierdie saak. Selfs onder Christene Continue reading

REPENTANCE: Legal vs. True

Repentance

Grant Swart

If our forgiveness was dependent on what we as sinners could do (or refrain from doing), in order to repent, who would be so bold as to claim that they could achieve it sufficiently as to gain recognition by a perfectly Holy God? Is repentance something we can and should do in order to be saved, or is repentance a gift granted to those who are saved by God?

All too often one hears the instruction issuing forth from religious zealots: “You must repent, you must turn from your sin, you must turn to God, or…!”. In my country, as I suppose it is in many others, many will-worshipping churches have coined a new favourite phrase: “Turn or burn!”, and in some Afrikaans congregations the translated phrase, “Draai of braai”, is bandied about with even more self-righteous enthusiasm. As if it were simply up to the listener to do the turning, and God will have no choice but to accept those who turn!

Those who do not have Christ, hear these warnings and are left terrified by their own inability to do what the preacher expects of them. They have heard the stern instructions, but have no understanding of it, no idea of where to start, or how to go about this seemingly impossible task. How can they turn to God when they do not know Him, do not know where He is, or who He is? How could they possibly repent without God’s help and without the guidance of His Holy Spirit? Continue reading

WILL WORSHIPPER

free choice

Grant Swart

Why this article?

“Will worship” and “will worshippers”. Terms I use on occasion when I write on certain aspects concerning the subject of the salvation of the sinner. It is imperative that followers of Jesus Christ understand Biblical teaching of how salvation of the sinner is accomplished, in order for them to impart the truth of the Gospel to all who would believe in Him and have everlasting life. It is our duty, and it is so because the Word of God instructs us in that matter.

Salvation can either be brought about by the effort of the sinner, or by means of a co-operation between the sinner and God, or it can be by the will and grace of God alone.

Eternal life, or eternal damnation. The biblical comprehension of this matter is ultimately important, because the means by which the sinner attains salvation (eternal life / spiritual life beyond physical death), could be determined either by a subservient God who is reliant upon the actions and decisions of the sinner, or by a sovereign God who acts independently from the eternally damned sinner whom He saves. Theological expressions for these two opposing viewpoints are “synergism” and “monergism”, but I will leave that to remain of academic interest for now, as there are other factors which would need to be included, were we to proceed along that route.

My employment of the terms “will worship” and “will worshipper”, is of course by no means unique to my writing, as there are other esteemed writers who made use of the same terms long before I did. I use the terms with specific intent, because they accurately describe the belief system of those who oppose the biblical doctrine of salvation by the grace of God alone, and who uphold the heresy that salvation is in part or in totality, reliant upon human will, works or values.

I use the terms to describe those who cling to and proclaim the pride-filled heretical and impossible notion, that salvation of the spiritually dead sinner is dependent upon a decision made by that same spiritually dead sinner, powered by his own over-valued understanding of free will and imaginary ability. Continue reading

From Baptismal Font to Damnation

baptism under water

Grant Swart

From Baptismal Font to Damnation 

– there is a road which seems right, but which ends in perdition

It is imperative that we choose the right road. Only the right road leads to the right destination. Taking the wrong road will lead one to the wrong destination, which could obviously cause great trouble.

This is true regarding most matters, but in particular it holds true regarding our eternal destination, which makes it of even greater importance. There are only two places where we can spend eternity – either in eternal glory or in eternal hell. We will either be with God for ever or we will be forever separated from His presence. Eternal joy, or eternal sorrow. Both are final destinations and there will be no turning back. For this very reason it is imperative that we make the right choice, in order for us to be sure.

It is not always simple to make the right choice, and Proverbs 14:12 warns us about a road which seems to be the right one, but which end leads to DEATH.

”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (ESV)

”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (KJV)

There are many roads which seem to be right or feel right, but which do not lead to life. Let us take a look down a few of the roads which people perceive to be the right ones, but which end in eternal sorrow: Continue reading

Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (2)

flock guardian dog 12 

 Grant Swart

This is the second installment of “Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed)”, Part 1 of which I published a year ago, almost to the day. Rather than repeating much of that which I wrote before, may I suggest that you refer to Part 1 here: Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (1), if you are interested in this subject, and have not previously done so. In Part 1 I attempted to establish the groundwork for bringing this installment into perspective, and it should provide an evenhanded and fair approach to the subject. A modern phenomenon, few ministries which place themselves under the banner of “discernment” have Biblically principled intent or calling, and the trend has in a very short period of time, drifted completely out of alignment with Christianity.

Regrettable and diverse are the failures of an overabundance of internet based “discernment” ministries, websites and blogspots, radio and television programs, publications, documentary films, etc. Frequently, these self-appointed and so-called discernment ministries are highly visible, easily accessible and present themselves as representatives of the truth. Often they regard themselves as whistle-blowers tasked with identifying threats to their specific brand of religion, “exposing” perceived falsehoods and acting as guardians of the Christian faith. Many of these “ministries” are the creations of self-appointed “watchmen” who claim to possess divine inspiration for their fake discernment abilities, which purportedly surpass those of the average Christian. In addition, these “watchmen” defend their position, which by the very nature of their ministries cannot be regarded as biblical, with an aggressive fervour which resembles religious and occult fanaticism.

The all too evident failure of the vast majority of these so-called “discernment” ministries, is in no small measure due to the fact that they are not founded on biblical prescripts, neither do they consistently accept or proclaim biblical doctrines. The reason for the rare success of a small minority of others is simple: they are not “discernment” ministries per se, they are truly Christian ministries in as much as they are led by heaven sent shepherds, true servants of the church, watchmen who have been appointed by God. (link here to Heaven Sent Preachers and Man Made Preachers – There is a Difference )

Isa 52:7-8  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” The voice of your watchmen–they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion.

From this passage in Isaiah, read in conjunction with Romans 10:15, we understand that it speaks of true Gospel preachers and teachers. The Spirit of God describes all true Gospel preachers as watchmen. Continue reading