“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 →
I pray that it is my humble and heartfelt intent to write concerning an earnest directive which believers have been given, and that is, to truthfully pass on to those who do not know the Lord, the liberating and glorious facts concerning the means of salvation which the Gospel proclaims. When we consider all which constitutes the doctrine of salvation in the Gospel, it is impossible to disentangle it from the truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, and the truth about Christ.
So often today the word “salvation” is used in very loose terms, ascribing to it many man-centered, phony ideas and fanciful doctrines which sound reasonable and very appealing to man’s conscience and which man readily accepts. Many of these are simply intended to soothe man’s guilty conscience, and leave him with a false comfort that man himself remains the ‘captain of his soul’ and in control of his eternal destiny. However, biblical truth about salvation is that man is not in any position to determine or secure his own salvation, by means of a decision or by applying his will or effort.
One is not likely to hear from the mouths of most preachers, that man is hopelessly unable to choose to follow God, or to decide to allow God into his life. Contrary to what many billboards around our country proclaim, man cannot, and indeed will never want to, turn back to God, unless he has been called to do so by God. Continue reading →
The story of the first Christmas is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration. However, most people now don’t know which details are biblical and which are fabricated. People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers, and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.
Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition, fanciful legends, and plain ignorance. Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars, and you’re left with one big mess. Let’s try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God’s Word, the Bible. Here we find not only the source of the original account of Christmas, but also God’s commentary on it.
Another year is coming to an end, and for me personally, another dreaded “festive” season is fast closing in. As a child, Christmas time was by far my favourite part of the year; school holidays, presents, friends, feasting and families. Even while our children were growing up and lived at our home, Christmas always had a very special place in our calendar, for all the traditional reasons and some of our own.
Those comforting, warm (Southern hemisphere) and fuzzy days of simple togetherness and caring have long gone and have been replaced with over-priced consumer goods, mad shopping frenzies, enormous traffic congestion, escalating crime rates and death on the roads. It is all very sad. Quite frankly, I would probably be safer, more comfortable and my normality would be less disrupted if I found myself evangelizing on some Far-Eastern quiet Bhuddist island on December 25 this year.
As the years have passed, the “festive” or holiday season, which includes Christmas time, has become a commercialized farce, along with other similar festivals such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day. The original meaning and “reason for the season” has been replaced with lavish parties, extreme festivities, entertainment and expensive gifts. No longer is it “the thought that counts”, rather the value of the gift which apparently demonstrates the level of affection one has for the recipient. Rarely is the birth of our Saviour brought into the picture on Christmas, except in some churches and, of course those are quite empty over the holidays. Almost half of the congregation has gone to the beaches and leisure resorts of the world and the other half are in the shopping malls. The vast majority of children in the world will never know the true meaning of Christmas or experience the love which can surround the day.
Additionally there is a war being waged on the traditional Christmas by the secular world, atheists and falsely religious. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”. This, of course, is being done in an attempt to promote a religiously tolerant society and an acceptance of a secular world religion. The battle for your bucks in the countdown of shopping days to Christmas has also become a major spiritual battle.
That brings me back to the controversial issue among many Christians, which is the celebrating of Christmas in the traditional way. The debate as to whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas on December 25, or any other date for that matter, has been raging for centuries. There are sincere Christians on either side of the debate, and many reasons as to why or why not Christmas should be celebrated by Christians.
One argument against Christmas is that the traditions have origins in paganism. Another argument is that the Bible forbids Christmas trees, and the passage in Jeremiah 10:1-16 is cited as biblical disapproval, even though that passage has no relevance to Christmas or Christians. Some regard the fact that the Bible gives no indication as to the birth date of Jesus as reason enough not to celebrate the day on December 25. Others, on the other hand, regard the fact that the Bible is silent on the issue as tacit approval by God over the celebration issue. Some say that because the world celebrates Christmas, Christians should avoid it. And so, on and on the arguments pro- and anti-Christmas are cited.
As in all things we should prayerfully seek guidance over the matter of Christmas, particularly if it is a divisive issue for the Christian family. Please tell us what you think about Christmas in our poll below.
God bless all those who, like myself, will be ever so slightly traumatized by the upcoming rush toward the end of the year and the fake celebrations of a Christ-less Christmas, and God also bless those who will enjoy every moment of celebrating the birth of our Saviour on December 25.
Particularly, I pray for God’s blessing on those who will not have a morsel of food, a drop of water or who will have to fight for their very life on the day that the rest of the world goes shopping and tolerates spoilt grandchildren demanding more expensive toys.
I recently had the privilege of responding to a blogger’s comment, one which advocated that there be no criticism of religions opposed to, or religions other than, Christianity. Furthermore, the opinion of the concerned blogger was that evangelical Christians should gain a full understanding of other religions, by listening to everything followers of those religions have to say, rather than warning them of their error in love and out of concern.
Satan’s deceptively brilliant idea of punting religious tolerance among the nations, in opposition to the biblical instruction to speak only the truth in love and in accordance with the Gospel, has gained mammoth religious popularity and has invaded the psyche of converts to the globally accepted interfaith protagonists.
While this is in agreement with the worldly message emanating from the post-modern emergent church, and is certainly what followers of false religions necessarily endorse, it is nonetheless contrary to the Scriptural instruction Continue reading →
Now, while a man can pray he is never far from light; he is at the window, though, perhaps, as yet the curtains are not drawn aside. The man who can pray has the clue in his hand by which to escape from the labyrinth of affliction. Like the trees in winter, we may say of the praying man, when his heart is greatly troubled, “his substance is in him, though he has lost his leaves.” Prayer is the soul’s breath, and if it breathes it lives, and, living it will gather strength again. A man must have true and eternal life within him while he can continue still to pray, and while there is such life there is assured hope.
For those doubters and unbelievers who prefer to seek the answers to life, the universe and everything from the scientific world, this short article may provide some simple but indispensable information. The following contains a few easy to understand, and difficult to refute, points on how circumstantial evidence (for those who may need practical convincing) surely proves the truth of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In particular it takes a quick look at the events and changes of a Jewish nature, which took place in the direct vicinity of Jerusalem, shortly after the resurrection.
“The world is full of either philosophic or pragmatic atheists–they either don’t believe in God, or if they do, they live as if His existence had no effect on them. In sharing Christ with them, it’s helpful to know which kind of atheist they are. Determine how you might alter your presentation of God’s truth to match the type of person you’re sharing with. For some ideas, compare Stephen’s address to the Jewish religious leaders (Acts 7) and Paul’s address to Gentile philosophers (Acts 17:18-34).”