CULTS, SECTS, AND DOGMATISM

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By Don Fortner

Acts 28:22

            When men cannot refute our doctrine, or choose not to pay the price of being decidedly committed to the message of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, their only weapon is slander. One of the surest ways to raise suspicions about a preacher, a church, or a religious group is to refer to it as a “sect,” or a “cult.” That immediately congers up images of horror. This has been one of Satan’s ploys since the beginning. When the Jews came to visit Paul in prison, they said, “Concerning this sect, we know that it is every where spoken against.” Do not allow such slanders to scare you or make you feel uneasy in standing firm against the tide of human opinion. Let men call me sectarian, cultic, and dogmatic, or scandalize my name if they must. I rejoice to walk in the company of a great multitude, though scandalized and always in the minority in their day. Yet, I am not, in the least, daunted by the fear of standing alone against all the opinions of men. Here are three things I affirm with every fiber of my being. They are not rash, youthful, novice opinions, but the deliberate statements of thoughtful judgment and consideration. Continue reading

WHO ARE THE ELECT?


bible tulip

        Pastor Don Fortner

Everyone who reads the Bible, even casually, knows that it teaches the doctrine of election. All God’s saints rejoice in that doctrine. Nothing sounds sweeter in the believer’s ear than the voice of the Son of God saying, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.”

Yet, no mere man can open and read the Lamb’s Book of life. No mortal can ever know who the elect are until they are regenerated and called by God the Holy Spirit. However, each of us can prove our own selves. We can make our calling and election sure.

In 1 Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul, writing by Divine inspiration, tells us that he knew those men and women in the Church at Thessalonica were elect, chosen of God, and precious by five distinct marks of grace upon them. If you are one of God’s elect, these five marks are upon you. If I am one of the elect, these marks are upon me.

Who are God’s elect? Look into the Word of God, and you will see. Continue reading

Getting Past the TULIP

Tulip Nico

Michael S. Horton

“Like Christ’s redeeming work, then, faith is not merely offered but is actually conferred, by sheer grace and without any obligation to grant it.”

Just as Luther’s followers preferred to be called “evangelicals” but were labeled “Lutherans” by Rome, around 1558 Lutherans coined the term “Calvinist” for those who held Calvin’s view of the Supper over against both Zwingli and Luther. Despite self-chosen labels such as “evangelical” and “Reformed” (preferred because the aim was always to reform the catholic church rather than start a new one), “Calvinism” unfortunately stuck as a popular nickname.

No Central Dogma  Continue reading

Here I stand. Immovable.

standing firm

Many today are willing to forsake the very foundation truths of Holy Scripture for the sake of “unity”. This we cannot do.

There are some things, plainly revealed in the Word of God, vital to the faith of the gospel, and burned into our souls. Upon these things we must stand with unbending, absolute firmness, even if we have to stand totally alone. These things are not debatable!

1. The God of Heaven is Continue reading

Against the World – Calvinism is Satanic

Join host Jerry Johnson for this week’s edition of Against the World, as he discusses a website which declared without any equivocation that Calvinism is Satanism.

HL : http://againsttheworld.tv/?p=734

The Safest Place

Charles  Haddon  Spurgeon

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
We believe in the eternal security of the saints. First, because they are Christ’s, and He will never lose the sheep which He has bought with His blood and received of His Father.

Next, because He gives them eternal life, and if it be eternal, well then, it is eternal, and there can be no end to hell, and heaven, and God. If spiritual life can die out, it is manifestly not eternal life, and that effectually shuts out the possibility of an end.

Observe, further, that the Lord expressly says, “They shall never perish.” As long as words have a meaning, this secures believers from perishing. The most obstinate unbelief cannot force this meaning out of this sentence.

Then, to make the matter complete, He declares that His people are in His hand, and He defies all their enemies to pluck them out of it. Surely it is a thing impossible even for the fiend of hell. We must be safe in the grasp of an almighty Savior. Be it ours to dismiss carnal fear as well as carnal confidence and rest peacefully in the hollow of the Redeemer’s hand.

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HL : http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=1309

What the Bible Says about The DOCTRINES OF GRACE

Taken by Avalon - Vernelle Imaging

Romans 9:20-24

(20) But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”  (21)  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?  (22)  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,  (23)  in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory–  (24)  even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

Nathan Pitchford

“Ever since the Serpent first tempted Eve in the garden by casting doubt on God’s word and his character as he had revealed himself to her, mankind has always been engaged in the idolatrous pursuit of fashioning a god after his own imagination…There is no cure for this, but to cast off all our prior ideas of who we think God should be, or what we think he should mean when he speaks of his love, his grace, his justice, and his salvation, and to go to His Word for all our answers.” (from the Introduction)

DOCTRINES OF GRACE – CATEGORIZED SCRIPTURE LIST

God has recently given us the opportunity to discuss some theological issues with other Christians who believe differently than we do on a number of points, most notably the doctrines of grace. In such a circumstance, given the overwhelming supply of scriptural evidence that comes to bear on the topic, it seemed to me that the best approach would be a simple categorized scripture list: the fact that the entire paper would be scriptures, with the exception of a few brief explanatory notes, would underscore the truth that this is God’s own word and teaching; and the fact that it would be categorized would facilitate the ready comparison of scripture with scripture so as to lead one to a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching. Although I found a few good scripture lists of that nature available online, none of them was laid out in quite the progression that I was looking for, and so I developed my own. I’m posting it

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Being Ready For Christ’s Return

Revelation 1:7

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

J.C. Ryle

Are you ready for the second coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints who have believed in Him and confessed Him on earth. He will come; to judge all His enemies, the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving.

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Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 5 – 8 of 8

by Phil Johnson – Grace to You

Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 5

. . . and why every Christian is a Calvinist of sorts.

Part V: Why this issue is really a lot simpler than most people think

At the end of the previous post, I described how even in my Arminian days, I affirmed an awful lot of truth about the sovereignty of God: I would have affirmed with no reservation whatsoever that God is God; that He does all His good pleasure; that no one can make Him do otherwise; that He is in control and in charge no matter how much noise evildoers try to make; and not only is He in charge, He is working all things out for my good and His glory. As a matter of fact, my confidence in the promise of Romans 8:28 was what motivated my prayer life.

That’s Calvinism. If you believe those things, you have affirmed the heart of Calvinism, even if you call yourself an Arminian. Those are the basic truths of Calvinism, and if you already believe those things, you are functioning with Calvinist presuppositions.

In fact, the truths of Calvinism so much permeate the heart of the gospel message, that even if you think you are a committed and consistent proponent of Arminianism, if you truly affirm the gospel you have already conceded the principle points of Calvinism anyway.

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Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 1-4 of 8

by Phil Johnson – Grace to You

Why I Am a Calvinist, Part 1

. . and why every Christian is a Calvinist of sorts.  


Part I: Is Arminianism damnable heresy?

I love the doctrines of grace and don’t shy away from the label “Calvinist.” I believe in the sovereignty of God. I’m convinced Scripture teaches that God is completely sovereign not only in salvation (effectually calling and granting faith to those whom He chooses); but also in every detail of the outworking of Providence. “Whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30). And He makes “all things work together for good to those who love God, [i.e.,] to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Quite simply, He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

That’s what people commonly mean when they speak of “Calvinism.” When I accept that label, I am not pledging allegiance to the man John Calvin. I am not affirming everything he taught, and I’m not condoning everything he did. I’m convinced Calvin was a godly man and one of the finest biblical expositors and theological minds ever, but he wasn’t always right. As a matter of fact, my own convictions are baptistic, so I am by no means one of Calvin’s devoted followers. In other words, when I accept the label “Calvinist,” it’s only for convenience’s sake. I’m not saying “I am of Calvin” in the Corinthian sense.

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