Questions About Forgiveness

Psalms 130

“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” — Psalm 130:3-4

Satan is a master deceiver. He is such a subtle, crafty deceiver that he often uses the Word of God itself to confuse people. He is particularly good at using Scripture texts as stumbling blocks, which he piles in the path of sinners seeking the Lord, or to trip and harass God’s pilgrims as they seek to follow Christ through this world. In this study, I hope to clear away some of those stumbling blocks, by answering some questions about forgiveness. I cannot here answer all the questions people have asked me about the forgiveness of sins. It would be futile for me to attempt that. However, I have carefully and prayerfully chosen seven questions which I want to answer.

1 Are there varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of punishment?

Without question, the Word of God clearly teaches that there are no varying degrees of innocence, righteousness, or holiness, and no varying degrees of reward for the righteous in heaven. The teaching of decrees of reward in heaven is totally contrary to the gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. However, the Scriptures do teach us that there are varying degrees of sin, of guilt, and of eternal punishment. Continue reading

THE CHURCH OF GOD

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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.”                                                                                                                                         — Acts 20:28

Believers cannot exist in this world in spiritual health without the strength, ministry, support, and help of a local church family. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that every child of God know the purpose and value of the church of God in this world and commit himself to it.

The text, which heads this page, is taken from the Book of Acts. One great purpose of that book, which is really a brief history of the early church, is to show us how God works in this world through his church. It is the inspired record of the progress of the church during its first thirty years of existence in this world. The most prominent figure in the church during those first thirty years was the Apostle Paul. It is this man, Paul, who is speaking in chapter 20. He is giving a solemn charge to the elders at Ephesus regarding their responsibilities as the servants of God. He says, “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.”

What is the Church of God? Continue reading

What is it to preach the Gospel?

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 Reading: Romans 10:1-17

Introduction:

I received a letter from a preacher yesterday. I want to read a portion of it to you, because it is directly related to my message this morning.

“Dear Pastor Fortner,

I really appreciate being able to come to you with some questions that have arisen in my spiritual life and ministry. I really have no pastor to ask these things. They have somewhat disowned me. When you have time could you please help me with the ending of a message, preaching the gospel, compelling men and women to come to Christ? Do you have an inquiry room such like Spurgeon did? Do you ask troubled souls to maybe seek you out?

I know for sure we can’t save them nor make them. I am totally against this ‘soul winning’ foolishness. I do believe we are to witness and warn sinners of the wrath of God and plead to men and women to flee to Christ our hiding place. Do you wait until the sinner receives assurance from the Lord that they have been saved, then make that profession public?

Thanks for any help you may be able to give. S___ B_______”

This is what I wrote in response.

“Every faithful Gospel preacher is troubled by these matters of great importance. The great problem is in us. We have a great desire, inspired of God, to see sinners converted by his grace. Therefore we pray and study with diligence, and ardently devote ourselves to the preaching of the Gospel. We have another fleshly, carnal lust for success, desiring to see things happen. Therefore we are tempted to employ the use of carnal pressures to get people to make a profession of faith. We need to remind ourselves incessantly, asking God the Holy Ghost to burn it in our hearts, that it is Christ who builds his Church and adds to it daily such as should be saved. This he does by the preaching of the Gospel. Continue reading

BIBLE DOCTRINE? WHY STUDY DOCTRINE?

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“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalms 11:3

Why should we study doctrine?

People often object to any talk about doctrine and the study of doctrine, because they wrongly imagine that it is an unnecessary cause of strife and division. The fact is, we cannot have any unity at all if we do not have doctrinal unity. Doctrine is not everything in Christianity; but nothing is more important than doctrine. Gospel doctrine is the foundation of all true faith, the basis of all real comfort, and the inspiration for all worship, obedience, and devotion.

I often hear people say, “Let’s not discuss doctrine. Let’s just get on with evangelism.” “Let’s not talk about doctrine. Let’s just worship the Lord.” “Don’t preach doctrine. Just preach Christ.” That makes about as much sense as a basketball coach saying to his team, “Boys, don’t worry about the baskets, or the ball, or those lines out there on the court. Let’s just play basketball.” You cannot have basketball without the baskets, the ball, and the lines; and you cannot have evangelism, worship, and Christianity without doctrine.

The study of doctrine is important, because it is foundational. In Psalm 11:3, David asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Obviously, we recognize that “the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2:19). Yet, we also know that in this dark, apostate age in which wicked religious men and women walk in darkness, without knowledge and without understanding, “all the foundations of the earth are out of course” (Ps. 82:5). The religion of the world constantly attacks, assaults, and seeks to destroy the foundation of doctrinal truth. When men seek to destroy the very foundations of our faith, what can the righteous do? Here are three things we can and must do… Continue reading

The Sovereignty of God By Don Fortner

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“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.”  With these words David declares the sovereignty of God and calls for us to give him praise. ( Psalms 135:6 )

There are no attributes of God more comforting and delightful to his children than his great and glorious sovereignty.  Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions; that he sovereignly overrules them, and that he sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and his own glory.  Every believer rejoices in the sovereignty of God. There is no truth of Holy Scripture for which we must more earnestly contend than God’s dominion over all creation, his sovereignty over all the works of his hands, the supremacy of his throne and his right to sit upon it.

God’s saints rejoice to hear him say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matt. 20:16).  Nothing is more comforting to God’s saints in this world than the knowledge of the fact that “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3).  We rejoice in God’s sovereignty!  But there is nothing revealed in the Bible that is more despised by worldlings and self-righteous religionists.  Natural, unregenerate, unbelieving men and women are happy enough to have God everywhere, except upon the throne of total, universal sovereignty.  They are happy to have God in his workshop, creating the world and naming the stars.  They are glad to have God in the hospital to heal the sick.  They are pleased to have God in trouble, to calm the raging seas of life.  And they are delighted to have God in the funeral parlor to ease them of pain and sorrow.  But God upon his throne is, to the unregenerate man, the most contemptible thing in the world.  And any man who dares to preach that it is God’s right to do what he will with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he sees fit, and save whom he will, will be hissed at, despised, and cursed by this religious generation.  Be that as it may, it is God upon the throne whom we love, trust, and worship.  And it is God upon the throne that we preach. Continue reading

Christ our Example

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Chapter 92

Christ our Example

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)

What is the believer’s rule of life? By what standard must our lives be governed, as the children of God in this world? How should we behave? What principles are we to live by, as we walk before God and men in this world? By what law are we to live?

These are questions which concern all of God’s children. None of God’s people are lawless, rebellious antinomians. All who trust Christ want to honor God. All who are born of God want to do the will of God. We want to do what is right before God and men. The grace of God experienced in the soul teaches us to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12). As we are admonished in Holy Scripture, saved sinners want to “be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

A man or woman who is chosen, redeemed, and regenerated by the grace of God has a principle of godliness and righteousness created in his or her heart. Such a person wants to live in a manner that will be pleasing and honoring to God, for the glory of Christ. If you do not love God’s law, you neither know God nor love God. Your religion is a refuge of lies. Your pretense of faith is a delusion. Continue reading

New ! Discovering Christ Day by Day – by Don Forter PDF Book

Discovering Christ Daily Readings Image Don Fortner

Via Email from Pastor Don Fortner

Dear Family,

As you know, I completed the book of Daily Readings (Discovering Christ Day by Day) on December 31st and will no longer send these out, as I did last year. The book is now at the publishers and should be released in a few months. However, Bro. Larry Brown has put the entire year’s readings together in *.PDF format. I have attached it to this email.

I am sending this to all on our church family mailing list and to a few friends who have expressed an interest in having it. Please feel free to give the attached file to anyone who wants it.

Thank you, Larry, for putting these readings together.

Reply to:     don@donfortner.com

Web Pages : www.DonFortner.com

www.FreeGraceRadio.com

www.Grace-eBooks.com

Grace Baptist Church of Danville

2734 Old Stanford Road

Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438

Here is the PDF version : Discovering Christ Day by Day 1 OR click on the Image of Pastor Don to get the PDF Book . 

With  thanks and gratitude to  Don Fortner for the permission to place the PDF book on our website. We pray many will be blessed by the material.  Also see  Discovering Christ in All the Scriptures – FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD BY Don Fortner

Please visit the above websites for more Biblical edifying material by Don Fortner.

MOCKERS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD

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But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
(Jude 1:17-19 KJV)

My text tonight is found in Jude 1:17-19. I want to speak to you by the power of God’s Spirit about MOCKERS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, and issue an imperative call to steadfastness in the faith of the gospel.

We are living in what the Word of God speaks of as “the last days.” The Scriptures clearly identify “the last days” as those days that began with our Savior’s incarnation and end with his second coming. It is my opinion that we are probably living in the latter portion of “the last days,” the very end of time. I say that because it is obvious that Satan has been loosed upon the earth to deceive the nations again.

The spirit of antichrist is so thick in this generation of free-will/works religion that you can cut it with a knife. It seems to me that the time of great apostasy has come that Paul told us must come before Christ comes again in 2nd Thessalonians 2.

  • The restraining hand of God’s Spirit, by which satanic delusions were somewhat held in check in days of old, has been taken away.
  • And God has sent this reprobate generation a strong delusion “that they should believe a lie: that they might all be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

How thankful we ought to be for God’s great electing love and preserving grace, Continue reading

Do You Consider Yourself A Christian ?

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There are professing believers on social media that say they refuse to be called a Christian. We know this due to statements of this nature being publicly posted on Facebook. It was these shocking statements which motivated me to place the relevant article which follows further below. Here is a verbatim quote from the post which was placed on Facebook; I will uphold the anonymity of the author.

“If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything designates nothing.” – B.B. Warfield. I agree, that is why it has become increasingly important to define what you believe..like a personal confession of faith….many people say we should not associate with names like Calvinist, Reformed or whatever. I refer to myself as a Calvinist and Reformed because it define my believes which is based on the Bible. To say I am a Christian put myself in the same pool as Osteen, Warren, Hinn and many other which I do not want to be named with and which proclaim a false gospel. “
Note:
1. Some people endeavor to not be labelled and just want to be known as “Christian”. 
2. This is a fallacy, and a cop-out, because today there is no such thing as ‘Christian’ which I wish to be identified with.
3. People walk with crossed around their necks and are ‘Christian’.
4. The Pope is ‘Christian’
5. False prophets are ‘Christian’
6. The Archbishop of Canterbury & Desmond Tutu are ‘Christian’.
7. Homosexuals are ‘Christian”.
8. Many supporters of Interfaith are ‘Christian’.
9. Todd Bentley is ‘Christian’.
10. Therefore I am NOT ‘Christian’ without defining myself, as I have nothing in common with the above people who are not followers of Christ Jesus as revealed in the Bible..

The word Christian is written in the Bible. Right? Therefore I declare to be nothing but a Christian. The discerning believer will know right from wrong, as it is God who leads His sheep. I totally reject man-made labels of any kind being applied to the true believer, in particular where such labels are applied with the intent of superseding the description, “Christian”. I am a sinner saved by grace alone, through faith alone, and the Bible denotes me as a Christian. I belong to Christ no one else.

I have bad news for the author of the disturbing piece which appeared on Facebook,  and that is the mere fact that, to reject the word Christian, is to deny Christ in the believer. Nowhere in Scripture are saved believers called to define themselves by any man-made title other than Christian. Those are things which matter to denominational religionists, will-worshippers and Pharasaical legalists, they do not matter to followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before we dig into the sermon notes below, let us simply overthrow the false assumption, immature argument and misrepresentation of B.B. Warfield’s words made by the deceived Facebook author.

At a quick glance the error in the “anti-Christian” Facebook quote is clear: B.B. Warfield is asking a rhetorical question here: “IF”, he says, “IF” being the operative and definitive word in the sentence, “IF” everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. However, the answer to this is, that NOT everything that is called Christianity is not Christianity, either. Therefore, true Christianity most definitely exists among those who call themselves Christians in these days, even according to Warfield!

I would say to the Facebook author that, if you don’t want to be a Christian, then God never called you to be one. Why then bother to even write such derogatory statements aimed against those who do want to be and are Christians? Rather just live the life of an unbeliever. It would be so much  simpler and a lot more temporary fun.

That being said, however, here is the truth for you!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
Continue reading

The Crimes Of Babylon

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And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(Revelation 18:2 KJV)

 Isaiah 24:5 – Reading Rev. 17:1-18:5

Three    Indictments   Of    God   Against    Man’s Religion

Sunday Evening – October 14, 1990

  Introduction:

There are, in reality, only two systems of religion in the world:  The religion of Christ and the religion of antichrist.  There are only two systems of doctrine in this world:  the doctrine of free grace and the doctrine of free will.  There are only two opinions about salvation in the world:  salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, and salvation by the will, works and worth of man.  Everybody fits into one of these two categories.  Every church and religious organization in this town and in the world fits into one of these two categories.  But no one fits into both.

In the Bible there are only two churches, the false and the true.  The false church, the church of antichrist, is Babylon, the great whore.  Babylon represents all free will, works religion of every name and nation:  Islam Judaism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddism, and pseudo-christianity – (Gen. 11:1-9). Babylon is the religion of works, the religion of man, the religion of confusion.

  • If you believe in salvation by man’s free will, your religion is the religion of Babylon. Continue reading

DECEIVERS AMONG US

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In Jude 4 the Apostle Jude tells us about the unseen danger of false prophets who arise within the church. They are often unrecognized, especially in their earliest appearances, partly because they profess to believe and preach “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” Yet, these false prophets secretly introduce doctrines that are contrary to the gospel of Christ and are damning, damning to them and to all who follow them.ASSURED GRACEWe must not forget that before he mentions these false prophets, Jude assures God’s elect of his mighty operations of grace by which all who are born of God are saved and kept, even in those perilous times when false prophets abound. Continue reading

WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?

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“What  think  ye  of  Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David”  Matthew 22:42

In this chapter our Lord was confronted by the religious leaders of his day. They asked him several questions about religious matters–the same sort of questions that religious people are asking today. They asked about politics and religion, the resurrection body, and the law of Moses. After silencing all their curious questions, our Lord put a question to them. It is as though he were saying, “You have asked me many questions which show your great curiosity about religion. Now, I have a question for you. This is the only question which is of any real eternal importance. “WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?”

My friend, this is the question that I put before you. Consider it well. I do not ask: What do you think of the church? What do you think of this or that system of doctrine? What do you think of prophecy? But, WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST?” Your answer to that question will determine your place in eternity.

WE MUST HAVE A TRUE DOCTRINAL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION. Continue reading

Sanctification

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Here is every text in the New Testament where the words “sanctify”, “sanctifieth”, “sanctified”, and “sanctification” are used. Study each reference in its context. Believers are said to be sanctified by the Word of God, by God the Father, by the blood of Christ, by the Holy Spirit, and by faith. Never once are we said to sanctify ourselves by something we do. The only exception is 2 Timothy 2:21, where a pastor is said to be sanctified by purging himself from that which is dishonorable. But the context makes that work of sanctification to be a matter of separation, not a matter of being righteous or holy. And not one reference speaks of the believer’s sanctification as a progressive work. Sanctification, as taught in the Bible, is altogether a work of grace.

John 17:17  “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

John 17:19  “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”

Ephesians 5:26  “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”

1 Thessalonians 5:23  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Continue reading

Identifying True Faith

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Listen to sermon 

The title of my message is Identifying True Faith. Is my professed faith in Christ true, God-given, saving faith, or is it a false faith? Is your professed faith in Christ true, God-given, saving faith, or is it a false faith? Let us bring our professed faith to the Word of God and prove it.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

If my faith is true, it will bear examination, examination by the light of Holy Scripture. If it is not true, I want to know it. I beg mercy from God that he will not let me perish in a refuge of lies. And I beg of God that same mercy for you. So my subject is Identifying True Faith. Our text is 1st John 4:14-21.

1 John 4:14-21 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Faith Essential

Faith in Christ is the one thing essential to salvation. — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” That is the one thing that matters. That is the one question that must be settled. — “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Faith is an inward. It is a state of life and a way of life. It is a condition of life and a course of life. Faith is an inward thing, a matter of the heart, an experience of the soul. — “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Continue reading

WHAT DOES OUR DAY REQUIRE OF US?

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Listen to sermon !

Turn with me to the Book of 1st Chronicles. I want us to think about a very important question. It is a question which should be of concern to us all. It is especially important for all who are endeavoring to serve Christ in the generation in which we live – WHAT DOES OUR DAY REQUIRE OF US? As I preach the Gospel, I try to address those issues that are relevant to us. I try to answer questions that men and women are asking. Surely this is a question you and I should ask ourselves. — WHAT DOES OUR DAY REQUIRE OF US?

(1 Chronicles 12:32) “And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them [were] two hundred; and all their brethren [were] at their commandment.”

It was the peculiar honor of the sons of Issachar that — “they were men that had understanding of the times.” Continue reading