Sovereign Grace Apologetics

Writing for God's glory! http://www.sgapologetics.com/ By Jeremy Hull

A scary prayer?

As I was listening to Refnet yesterday in between a couple messages that were being preached they read from a devotional that they usually do called “Valley of Visions." 

This book if you’re not familiar with it you should do a quick Google Search and you’ll find at least a few websites that have it. I called it a devotional but it’s mainly just the prayers of the puritans. However when they play this I typically try to pause whatever I’m doing, if possible, and concentrate deeply on what’s being said. I don’t do it just to pay attention but because I was to make it my prayer as I’m listening but today after I heard the first few lines my mind went somewhere else. It wasn’t just that I was daydreaming on something apart from it but because as I was making it my prayer I got scared and started to think on what it would look like if God answered this prayer in my life and that scared me. 


Here is the first part of that prayer


O FOUNTAIN OF ALL GOOD,

Destroy in me every lofty thought, 

Break pride to pieces and scatter it to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of self-righteousness,

Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,

Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,

Open in me a fount of penitential tears,

Break me…

“Now I must say that if I didn’t believe that God is sovereign and able to do whatever He wants among the army of Heaven and the inhabitants of the Earth then this prayer wouldn’t be so scary to me. If God had to bow to the false god of me, myself, and I then asking God to break me isn’t that scary because He couldn’t. However what kind of God would this be? The weak, pansy god that we couldn’t trust when He says that, "all things work together for good to them that love God.” This false god we shouldn’t even bother to pray to for Him to save our loved ones. Fortunately for us that’s not the God we serve but we do serve One that answers prayer and can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, and to whomever He wants. That is why I saw my life change as I was thinking on this prayer. I must say now that I should never be scared of a prayer like this. Not only because I do trust God but because I know if He breaks me He’ll heal me even better. 

That brings me to the second half of this prayer that I didn’t even hear because I was so lost in thought and terror. 

Here is the full prayer

“Destroy in me every lofty thought,      

Break pride to pieces and scatter it    to the winds,

Annihilate each clinging shred of    self-righteousness,

Implant in me true lowliness of spirit,

Abase me to self-loathing and self-abhorrence,

Open in me a fount of penitential tears,

Break me, then bind me up;

Thus will my heart be a prepared dwelling    for my God; 

 Then can the Father take up his abode in me,  

Then can the blessed Jesus come with healing    in his touch, 

 Then can the Holy Spirit descend in    sanctifying grace;

O Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,  

inhabit me, a temple consecrated to thy glory.

When thou art present, evil cannot abide;

In thy fellowship is fullness of joy,

Beneath thy smile is peace of conscience,

By thy side no fears disturb,  no apprehensions banish rest of mind,

With thee my heart shall bloom with fragrance;

Make me meet, through repentance,  for thine indwelling.

Nothing exceeds thy power,

Nothing is too great for thee to do,

Nothing too good for thee to give. 

 Infinite is thy might, 

boundless thy love,  

limitless thy grace, 

glorious thy saving name.

Let angels sing for        

sinners repenting,        

prodigals restored,        

backsliders reclaimed,        

Satan’s captives released,       

 blind eyes opened,        

broken hearts bound up,        

the despondent cheered,        

the self-righteous stripped,       

 the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,       

 the ignorant enlightened,        

and saints built up in their holy faith.

I ask great things of a great God.“

(Taken from the book Valley of Vision)


"Wow!” That’s what I said! It’s not a scary prayer for a loving God to break us! What was I thinking? I know exactly what I was thinking! I was thinking about myself and my comfort! However, can we name one saint who was worth anything who remained comfortable? Do we think that Martin Luther had a comfortable life during the reformation? How about John Calvin? Maybe Charles Spurgeon had it easy? None of these? Maybe I should look at modern men of God? R.C. Sproul definitely had an easy life right? John MacArthur’s life has probably been a piece of cake! I know, I jest. Anybody worth a hill of beans in the kingdom of God has struggled but God is the God of all comforts and He comforts them in the midst of the struggle! He calms the sea when we think He doesn’t care for us! O, what a blessing it is to be broken by God! Now let’s pray this together with full confidence that God will bless us through it and He’ll be glorified because of it! Amen? 


For His Glory

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Why do we wait until we're starving?

This blog post isn’t one to condemn anyone else more than myself. I’m writing it because I’ve dealt with it a lot in my Christian life. I understand this from experience and unfortunately I have a lot of experience with it. 

 Over the past month, here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we’ve experienced some horrible weather. It started with hurricane Florence that caused my family to evacuate the state for about a week. Now we are experiencing flooding all over the area here. In this time my normal routines have ceased and unfortunately my spiritual routines have ceased, to the point of what feels line spiritual starvation. 

 What do I mean by spiritual starvation? I’ll put it like this, there is no way I could go a week without physical sustenance yet I’ve gone a week without spiritual sustenance. I’m not exactly sure how long a person can go without food but I guarantee after about two days I’d eat anything you offered to me! I do think our spiritual food works the same way. False doctrine can easily permeate the thoughts of those not well grounded in the Word or for our illustration rotten food will easily be eaten by those who are spiritually starving.

I also find that when I’m in one of those states where I feel spiritual malnourished that when I finally get into the Word I want to force feed as much as possible as quickly as possible. Now I’d never tell you that too much Word is a bad thing but “I think” our best course of action is to just get back into the routine of regular meals that we can handle. When it comes to diet and nutrition we are taught to eat around 6 to 7 smaller meals a day instead of just 1 or 2 bigger meals. The reason for this is because we can’t digest all the food we eat in big meals and it’s much easier to digest the smaller meals more often. Maybe this is how we should handle our spiritual food! 

 In closing brethren, let us strive to simply stay in the Word! The more we are in the Word the more we’ll be able to digest and the more we’ll grow! Also, God has given us everything that pertains to LIFE and GODLINESS! What else do we need? Let’s strive to see Him glorified! 

 For His Glory!

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Let's do this!

Throughout the history of the church many have tried to suppress the spread of biblical Christianity. In the first century we have the Jews seeking to keep Christianity under a blanket only to have God crush their false religious system in 70 a.d. Then for multiple centuries later we see Rome and her pagan, idolatrous worship system doing everything she can to pervert and/or keep the true, life-giving gospel away from the common folk. Only for God to raise up some mighty men who would give life and limb to see the scriptures spread like wildfire and the gospel being preached to everyone! Now in our day, whether you’re here in the United States where secular humanism is trying her hand at squelching the gospel or in maybe a foreign country where Islam will put you to death for the gospels sake, God will most certainly raise up men and women to herald the gospel and see His Church cover the Earth as sand covers the sea shore. It’s our time to take up the mantle and run with it brethren! The gates of Hell will not prevail against us and the gospel’s spread can’t be stopped! Let us lay down our lives like the heroes of our faith have in times past and go forth with the best message to ever be preached, the life-giving message of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and reign!

For His Glory!

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A response to "a primer on Hyper-Calvinism"

sgapologetics:

 

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       I want to be very clear on this blog post. I most certainly am not responding to this article because I feel any ill towards one I consider a brother in Christ. I have much respect for him and the only reason I’m responding is because I see this article posted on Facebook on a regular basis and I don’t agree with the article. I also know that some will simply reject what I say because it’s in response to someone whom they love. Please hear me out though, I won’t be dealing with everything we agree upon but trying to focus on what we don’t agree upon.

Keep reading

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Jude 1:1

Jude- This is the half brother our our Lord Jesus Christ and brother of James, the writer of the book of James, as he states in this verse. (See Luke 6:16)

The servant of Jesus Christ- The word here for servant I don’t believe should be translated servant but “slave.” That’s what the word δοῦλος means. It would literally mean someone who gives himself totally to another’s will. Literally Jude is saying that I have laid down my life for my Lord Jesus Christ, who is also my half brother. In other words what the Lord says I do. O’ Christian how we must have this attitude! This should be our constant prayer that we can lay our lives down for our Lord! That we would be His slaves!

To them that are sanctified by God the Father- Now this is a controversial subject here. Sanctification has many different views but I think this verse is very clear. Jude say’s to them that “are” sanctified, not to them that “will be” sanctified. Jude is very clear here and I think that we should all agree we are sanctified in Christ. See Act_20:32; 1Co_1:2; 1Co_1:30; 1Co_6:11
There is no question in the mind of Jude or any of the Apostles that we “are” sanctified in Christ! Christian, remember this, you have been set apart (sanctified) by God for His service. You have been made Holy, hence the name Saints of God ἅγιος (Hagios) or in English, “Holy One” or “Most Holy thing.” We don’t deserve a name like this but God has declared us this because we are in Christ the True Holy One, the truly Sanctified One! God has placed us in Him, which means that God sees us like He sees Him, as a perfectly sanctified, and holy one!

Preserved in Jesus Christ- Preserved here is a word that means to keep in the state in which that person is or to attend carefully. Obvious from the doctrine of perserverance of the saints we know that God is the one doing the preserving, hence the reason that myself and many others like to call the doctrine preservation of the saints. This verb is in the Passive voice in Greek which would agree that God is the one doing the preserving. He’s performing the act upon the saint! The saint are being kept in Christ by God!

And called-As with the previous phrase, “preserved in Jesus Christ” this here is teaching a very clear doctrine in scripture and that is called the doctrine of election. Election or calling is the teaching that God calls or elects or chooses us before the foundation of the world. This is taught throughout scripture but here are a few verses to illustrate. See Eph_1:4 Joh_6:44; 1Pe_1:2; 1Pe_2:6;Joh_13:18; Joh_15:16; Joh_17:6; Joh_17:24; Rom_9:11;

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Jesus calms the storm


During Sunday school this morning God taught me again something very important. It’s something I’ve learned a lot by experience and from texts of scripture. However this morning it was very clearly taught to me again. What I learned this morning was not taught by my Pastor who was actually teaching the lesson but by an elderly lady in the class. She isn’t some great Theologian, or some great Prophet, in her own words she is “unlearned” and isn’t very smart. I, however, think she’s much smarter than she gives herself credit for but only by the Grace of God.

We are learning about temptation and how to fight against them and what to do when we don’t overcome them. In so doing she raised her hand and made a statement. I cannot remember what brought about this statement but man it hit me like a shotgun at point blank range.

She was speaking about the disciples when they were on the boat with Jesus and how they were in the middle of the storm. In the midst of this storm they were fretting about like children with no faith in God while Jesus slept. They procede to wake up Jesus and ask Him a question that should never be asked to God by one of His children. They asked, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

There are a couple things we should learn from this. First, if you a child of the Living God, He cares for you! There is nothing you can go through in this life that God doesn’t care for you in. No matter how big the storm is, no matter how much water has came into the boat, and no matter how fast the boat is sinking, God cares for you.

The second thing is what this Godly lady brought about in this text. Now mind you that she didn’t expound all of this like I am attempting, she just reminded us of this portion of scripture then made this statement. She said, not verbatim, “The disciples shouldn’t have been worried at all in the boat because before they got on the boat Jesus said, "they were going to the other side.” She pointed out how if Jesus say’s, “you’re going to the other side” you will be going to the other side. It doesn’t matter what storms or disasters happen from this side to the other side, you will make it because Jesus said, “you’re going to the other side.”

I’ve never really noticed this in the text and God taught it to me very clearly this morning. It doesn’t end there though.

We head into the sanctuary for worship this morning and my Pastor’s sermon is from Exodus, we are doing a kinda fly over the Old Testament to see how God works. However this morning we were in the portion of scripture where the Israelites were trapped in between the Red Sea and Pharoah. This made my mind go right back to Sunday school and what was said about going to the other side.

Those Israelites had no hope! They could either head into the Red Sea and no doubt they would all drown and die or they could go back to Pharaoh and either be killed or taken back into captivity. However the God of Israel pretty much say’s the same thing to these Israelites! They were going to the other side of the Sea! Now this wasn’t just a storm that was brewing this was a Sea! This is impossible to pass through! Many of us have lived through great storms but I dare say that not one of us have crossed through a sea! However God opens the Sea up and His people pass through on dry ground! What is impossible with man is possible with God!

Brethren what I want us to see from this is that those disciples in the New Testament storm in Mark 4 should have been were familiar with this text! They should have had complete faith that Jesus could not only calm the storm if He wanted to, He could have dried up the Sea if He wanted to. Now just as they had little faith in the Lord and were forgetful of our Lord’s previous works, we too act like they do when those storms come to us. Let us remember and keep in mind that Jesus, the God of the Universe, say’s, “you’re going to the other side” and rest in Him and in His Sovereign, Loving, and Providential hand. 


For His Glory!


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Romans 1:16-17 Part 1


Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 

This morning I’m writing a sermon I may never preach but am doing so to prepare my heart and mind for worship. I’ll be doing a full exposition of these two verses, going through them word by word, expounding God’s Word as He gave it to us. 


For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ- As they say, “When you see for or therefore in the text you need to see what it’s there for.”
So Paul say’s “for” I am not ashamed…So what we should always do when we see “for” or “therefore” we need to look backwards in the text and see what it’s there for.

So in verse 15 Paul say’s He’s ready to preach the gospel to those who are at Rome also. Why is this significant to us? Well I can think of two reasons.

1. Those who were at Rome were already Christians, yet Paul was ready to preach the gospel to them also. See. Verse 7.  

Paul wasn’t ashamed to preach the Gospel to unbelievers or even to believers. Why? Because we both need it!

2. Those who were at Rome were Gentiles, Paul was a Jew. This is proving his ministry to the Gentiles. He wasn’t just taking the Gospel to Jews then being ashamed of the gospel to the gentiles. He was ready to preach it to anybody, whether you were Jew or Gentile, Believer or unbeliever. Paul was not ashamed to preach the Gospel.

So now that we know why “for” is there let’s move on.

I am not ashamed- How many of us can honestly say this? I know that even though I’m a gospel preacher I can’t say this all the time. I know there are times that I completely fail in this and am ashamed of the gospel.

There are times I know I should be preaching but I’m too scared to. I know I may lose something in this world if I preach the gospel.

The ultimate reality is as a Christian and especially as a preacher, we should be ready to lose everything for the gospel’s sake. We should never be ashamed of the gospel like Paul is saying here and he demonstrated in his life. He died for the gospel’s sake!

The word for ashamed here isn’t a word that you must be a Greek scholar to understand, you may need to be a Greek scholar to read it but not understand it.

It’s a long Greek word that is compounded by two words but it simply means, “to feel shame for something” or to “be ashamed.”

So we can easily understand that and that is something we should never feel in respect to the gospel!

Remember Jesus’ words in Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Brethren this isn’t something light. This is what our lives should be completely about! I pray it often and when I preach I speak it often, that we lay down our lives for the gospel’s sake!

We want to be gospel focused, gospel saturated, and seeing everything through the gospel! The only way we can do that is if we know the gospel and know it well. We shouldn’t even have to think if someone asks us what the gospel is we should readily blurt it out, we should know it like our address, because we should be living it in.

We are not to be ashamed of the gospel OF Christ!

It’s not just simply the gospel, but it’s the Gospel of Christ!

This gospel (good news) is of Christ!

There are many preachers today that say they preach the gospel yet you hear nothing of the person and work of Christ! These men are called heretics and God has reserved them for everlasting destruction. (Jude 1:4)

There is only one gospel and it’s of Christ, it’s not what we preach but WHOM we preach. (Col. 1:28)

If anyone preaches another gospel let them be accursed. (Gal. 1:8-9)

I will conclude this post here with part two coming at a later date, stay tuned and don’t be ashamed brethren!

For His Glory!

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Postmillennialism: A Redeemed World or Race  By: Loraine Boettner

Postmillennialism: A Redeemed World or Race 

On postmillennial principles a strong emphasis is thrown on the universality of Christ’s work of redemption, and hope is held out for the salvation of an incredibly large number of the race of mankind. Since it was the world, or the race, which fell in Adam, it was the world, or the race, which was the object of Christ’s redemption. This does not mean that every individual will be saved, but that the race as a race will be saved. Jehovah is no mere tribal deity, but is described as ‘the Lord of the whole earth,’ 'a great King over all the earth’ (Psa_97:5; Psa_47:2). 

The salvation that He had in view cannot be limited to a little select group or favored few. The good news of redemption was not merely local news for a few villages in Palestine, but was a world message; and the abundant and continuous testimony of Scripture is that the kingdom of God is to fill the earth, 'from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth’ (Zec_9:10).

Early in the Old Testament we have the promise that 'all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah’ (Num_14:21); and Isaiah repeats the promise that all flesh shall see the glory of Jehovah (Isa_40:5). Isaiah was set for 'a light to the Gentiles,’ and for 'salvation unto the end of the earth’ (Isa_49:8; Act_13:47). Joel made the clear declaration that in the coming days of blessing, the Spirit hitherto given only to Israel would be poured out upon the whole earth. 'And it shall come to pass afterward,’ said the Lord through His prophet, 'that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh’ (2:28); and Peter applied that prophecy to the outpouring that was begun at Pentecost,–'But this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel …’ (Act_2:16 f). 

Nothing could well exceed the plainness, directness and precision with which the conversion of the nations is announced in the Psalms:

'All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, 0 Lord; 

And they shall glorify thy name’ (Psa_86:9).

'All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee’ (Psa_22:27).

'Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession’ (Psa_2:8).

The 47th Psalm sings of the sovereignty of God, and of His rulership over the nations:

'For Jehovah Most High is terrible; file is a great King over all the earth. He subdueth peoples under us, And nations under our feet … For God is the King of all the earth; Sing ye praises with understanding, God reigneth over the nations: God sitteth upon his holy throne’ (Psa_1:1-8).

Probably nowhere is the universal reign of Christ stated more strongly than in the Messianic 72nd Psalm:


'In his day shall the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace, till the moon be no more. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, And from the River unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; And his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall render tribute: The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: All nations shall serve him … All nations shall call him happy … And let the whole earth be filled with his glory’ (Psa_72:7-11, Psa_72:17).


'All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, 0 Lord; And they shall glorify thy name’ (Psa_86:9).

'I Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool’ (Psa_110:1).

We call special attention to the fact that this latter verse from the 110th Psalm means that Christ is to conquer all. The right hand position is the position of power and influence. This conquest is now in process of accomplishment as He advances against His enemies. His mediatorial reign from the right hand of God is to continue until all of His enemies have been subdued. In the New Testament Christ Himself quoted this verse to prove His Deity (Luk_20:42-43). Peter too quoted this verse (Act_2:34-35) to prove that what had happened at Pentecost was the fulfillment of Psa_110:1. He thus saw its fulfillment, not as a cataclysmic act coming at the day of judgment, but in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church during the present age. This process is to continue until all of Christ’s enemies have been placed under His feet, so that He reigns over all the earth.

There is no mistaking the meaning of these announcements found in the Psalms. They are as unambiguous as anything that can be spoken by the most sanguine advocates of foreign missions in this twentieth century. Yet they come from the time of David, and most of them are from his pen. By him the Holy Spirit, for twenty-nine centuries, has been bearing witness that God’s visible Church is destined to embrace all the nations that He has created on the whole face of the earth. A time is coming when they shall acknowledge the Lord as their Ruler. They have long forgotten Him, but one day they shall acknowledge His claims and turn to Him, even in the uttermost parts of the earth. Says Mr. Kik:

'The Covenant concept of 'all nations blessed’ comes to the fore in the poetry of the Psalter. The composers of the Book of Praise of the Old Testament looked for the triumph of the Church upon earth. There are no better missionary hymns than those contained in the Psalms. One of the contributing factors to present-day pessimism, gloominess, defeatism within the Church is the omitting of the Psalms from the hymn books’’ (An Eschatology of Victory, p. 22).

In Isa_2:2-3 we read: 'And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.’ In the book of Hebrews 'Mount Zion,’ God’s holy mountain, is spiritualized to mean the Church (Heb_12:22). Hence in this prophecy it must mean that the Church, having attained a position so that it stands out like a mountain on a plain, will be prominent and regulative in all world affairs.

Ezekiel gives us the picture of the increasing flow of the healing waters which issue from under the threshold of the temple; waters which first were only to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the loins, then a great river, waters which could not be passed through (Eze_47:1-5). Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream taught the same truth. The king saw a large image, with various parts of gold, silver, brass, iron and clay. Then he saw a stone cut without hands, which stone smote the image so that the gold, silver, brass, iron and clay were carried away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. These various elements represented great world empires which were to be broken in pieces and completely destroyed, while the stone cut out without hands represented a spiritual kingdom which God Himself would set up and which figuratively would become a great mountain and fill the whole earth. 'And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever’ (Dan_2:44). The generally accepted interpretation of the dream is that the four parts of the image represented four successive empires, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedonian empire of Alexander the Great, and the Roman empire. In the light of the New Testament we see that the final kingdom, represented by the stone cut out without hands, was the one that Christ set up, which indeed was set up while the Roman empire still was in existence. The Church, an institution not of human but of divine origin and therefore described as 'cut out without hands,’ was destined to outlast and break in pieces all of the anti-Christian kingdoms, that is, convert and transform them, and so, figuratively, to become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, so prominent will it be in every phase of human life.

In the vision which Daniel saw, recorded in chapter 7, the beast made war against the saints and prevailed against them for a time,–but, 'the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom’ (Dan_7:22).

Jeremiah gives the promise that the time is coming when it will no longer be necessary for a man to say to his brother or to his neighbor, 'Know Jehovah’; 'for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them’ (Jer_31:34). The last book of the Old Testament contains a promise that 'from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles, saith Jehovah of hosts’ (Mal_1:11)

In the New Testament we find the same clear teaching. At the Jerusalem Conference James cited the prophecy of Amo_9:11-12, that in the days to come God would pour out spiritual blessings on His people, 'that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations that are called by my name,’–Edom here being taken as typical of Jehovah’s enemies; and James, speaking by inspiration and quoting this prophecy, gives it a wider interpretation, saying that 'the residue of men,’ and 'all the Gentiles,’ are to 'seek after the Lord’ (Act_15:17). This clearly implies the world-wide conversion of the nations.

The New Testament puts a strong emphasis on the fact that it is the world that is the object of Christ’s redemption. 'Christ is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world’ (1Jn_2:2). 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him’ (Joh_3:16-17). 'The Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world’ (1Jn_4:14). 'Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world’ (Joh_1:29). 'We have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world’ (Joh_4:42). 'I am the light of the world’ (Joh_8:12). 'God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself’ (2Co_5:19).

The parable of the leaven teaches the universal extension and triumph of the Gospel, and it further teaches that this development is accomplished through the gradual development of the Kingdom, not through a sudden and cataclysmic explosion. There we are told that 'the kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened’ (Mat_13:33). The Kingdom of heaven, like leaven, transforms that with which it comes in contact. All the meal was transformed by its contact with the leaven. Similarly, Christ teaches, society is to be transformed by the Kingdom of heaven, and the result will be a Christianized world. Premillennialists cannot admit this. To do so would contradict their whole system. Hence they seek another meaning, and where Christ says the Kingdom of heaven is like leaven, they say that the leaven is not symbolical of the Kingdom of heaven, but of evil. J. S. Silver, one of their representative writers, says: 'Literally, it denotes sin, therefore here it means apostasy’ (The Lord’s Return, p 247). And another representative writer, W. E. Blackstone, says: 'We believe that the leaven in the parable of Mat_13:1-58 represents . . the false doctrines which have crept in and so pervaded the professing church that it has, in the main, become merely formal and nominal’ (Jesus Is Coming, p. 95). We are at a loss to understand how any one professing to take the Bible at face value, particularly those who lay great stress on literal interpretation, can deliberately contradict the words spoken so clearly and unequivocally and make them mean the exact opposite, in this case, false doctrine. These are the very people who protest so strongly against 'spiritualizing.’ Anyone who can so change the meaning of Scripture can make it mean anything that he pleases. According to this interpretation Christ is to be understood as saying in effect that,“The kingdom of heaven is like an evil influence which brings the whole world into a state of apostasy.’ This is an example of the extremity to which some will go, the forced interpretation to which they will resort, in defending a theory. They would never arrive at such a meaning if they were not attempting to avoid the clear implication of the parable.


Premillennialists seize upon the words of Jesus in Mat_24:14, 'And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ (King James Version), as proving their doctrine that the gospel is to be preached only as a 'witness,’ or as a 'testimony’ (American Standard Version), and therefore that it is not intended to convert the world. This verse in itself may not be decisive as to the purpose and effect of such preaching. But such definitely was not the case when Christ gave the Great Commission to the disciples. There He said: 'All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world’ (Mat_28:18-20).

Here we are told that 'all authority’ in heaven and on earth has been given to Christ for the performance of this work. Commenting on this point Dr. Snowden says: 'All authority includes all power of every kind that is applicable to this task. Jesus Christ can never have any more power than He has now, for He now has all there is. Premillenarians put their confidence in some 'rod of iron’ with which Christ will 'smite down all opposition’ when He comes, but Christ now has omnipotence and has pledged it to the present work of preaching the gospel for the conversion of the world.’ He goes on to say that, 'The Greek word translated 'make disciples of ’ is a strong one, meaning not merely to 'preach’ or 'evangelize’ but to convert into disciples … We have in this commission express and inescapable teaching that the gospel is preached not simply for 'evangelizing’ or 'for a witness’, but for the deeper work of conversion .. . These nations are to be converted into Christian disciples, and this work is not done but only begun when they are 'evangelized,’ or simply had the gospel preached to them. Jesus here speaks in world terms, here is the splendid universality of His gospel … Premillenarians say that Christ the King is absent and tell us what great things He will do when He comes again. But Christ Himself assures us He is present and is even now with us in our work … To reduce this great commission to the premillenarian program of preaching the gospel as a witness to a world that is to grow worse and worse until it plunges into its doom in destruction, is to emasculate the gospel of Christ and wither it into Pitiful impotency. This is to send the gospel out into the world as a futile thing, foreordained to failure from the start. No, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and Jesus Christ, marching in the greatness of His strength, sends us on no empty errand of uttering a message that will die away in the air on an unheeding and hostile world, gathering only a few out of its innumerable multitudes and consigning the vast majority to destruction, but He sends us to 'make disciples of all the nations’ and thereby win the world itself’ (The Coming of the Lord, pp. 98-103).

We find that Christ’s work of redemption truly has as its object the people of the entire world and that His Kingdom is to become universal. And since nothing is told us as to how long the earth shall continue after that goal has been reached, possibly we can look forward to a great 'golden age’ of spiritual prosperity continuing for centuries, or even for millenniums, during which time Christianity shall be triumphant over all the earth, and during which time the great proportion even of adults shall be saved. It seems that the number of the redeemed shall then be swelled until it far surpasses that of the lost.

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Obey your thirst!


Over the past couple months I’ve had a thread of theology that has been stuck in my head. It seems every time I read the scriptures, it doesn’t matter what book chapter, and verse, I come across this teaching. When I listen to sermons I hear it as well. That may be in part of me listening to sermons on stuff I’m studying but my Pastor has also spoke on this the last couple weeks and I don’t get to pick his sermons. The topic I’m speaking of is abundance for the Christian or maybe you could say abundant blessing for the Christian.

I initially got stuck on this topic because I was reading Isaiah and came to chapter 55. I’m sure some of you are familiar with this chapter and have heard it quoted in evangelism before. I believe the previous two chapters directly correlate with this chapter. In chapter 53 we see the Messiah’s substitutionary death in behalf of His elect. In chapter 54 we see the establishment of the new covenant, which is a direct result of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah. Then in chapter 55 we see a call for men to come into this new covenant by coming to Christ!

In chapter 55 we don’t only see an external call of men we also see what happens when men come. Notice the text,

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price

This call is to one who is thirsty. Notice when He calls the thirsty He gives the thirsty exactly what he needs and desires, water. If you’re thirsty there is nothing that you want more than drink! If you’re thirsty and someone offers you a steak it wouldn’t be that desirable, however if they offer you a glass of water you’d take it immediately! The picture here is of someone who is spiritually thirsty, meaning they have no spiritual drink. They have no fountain they can drink from, yet God calls them to “come!” God calls them to come because He is the Fount of Living Water! Remember Christ in John chapter 4 and 7 teaching that if any man come to Him he may drink! Not only if any man come to Him he may drink but he will never thirst again! How can Christ say this? Well because He satisfies! He’s not just a drink of living water, He’s a fountain of living water. As the writer of Psalms say’s, “yea my cup runneth over.” He, if you will, super satisfies! There is no other drink that satisfies like Him. In the second chapter of Jeremiah we see a people that have forsaken this foutain of living water and God called it evil! They weren’t only evil because they have forsaken fountains of living water but they did what every human will do. They try to satisfy themselves with broken cisterns of dead water! If they forsake fountains of ever flowing living water they will chase broken vessels of dead, dirty water that can never satisfy!

Notice what else the text say’s, “he that hath no money.” These people He is calling to come are not only thirsty but they are broke! They are poor, destitute sinners that can’t be satisfied in this life! God calls them to “come” without money and without price! Come you poor destitute and thirsty sinner to the fountain of Living water and be satisfied, for free! This is a clear picture of salvation and blessing from God.

God doesn’t only tell the sinner to come without money, which is a picture of their works or merits. He’s telling them that when they come they will be blessed abundantly or a better way of saying it is super abundantly! He gives grace on top of grace to the broke, thirsty sinner that comes! He pours out super abundant grace on the undeserving, broke, thirsty sinner! The only stipulation God gives is to “come!” Jesus taught this very same thing in the new testament in John 7:37. There He say’s it in almost the same language and there should be no doubt that He was referrencing Isaiah 55. He say’s, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. Also in Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

This is no new teaching, however it has been impressed upon my heart lately. We as sinners, not only get "saved” when we come to Christ but we get so much more! First and foremost we get Christ, the fountain of living water! He satisfies our every need and desire! However He also blesses us with so much more! He blesses us with new hearts, new minds, new lives in Him! He blesses us with lives of fruit, with lives of obedience and with lives that aren’t yoked to the old law! He, as He say’s, gives us rest in Him! We can rest in the new testament from striving to obey a law that only served to kill! We obey a Person who gives life and life more abundant! We have so many blessing in the new covenant I could write this blog forever! To name a few though, we have “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, and temperance.”

So in closing I would say to the Christian, you have rest in Christ! You have fruit in Christ! You have a fountain of overflowing, living water in Christ! Continue to drink from Him daily and you will be satisfied! Throw away those broken cisterns of sin that can never hold water! Look upon Him who is the author and finisher of our faith!

To the non-Christian, our God say’s “Come.” Come drink of the fountain of living water and be satisfied! Forsake your old ways and take upon His yoke for it is easy and His burden is light! Come to Him and He will give you rest!

For His glory!

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Open rebuke is better than secret love.

One of my favorite Christian rappers just released a new album. I have been listening to it a lot the last few days and I really enjoy it and think it may be his best album yet. In his album though he deals with some real things that are happening within Christian hip hop. That will be my main focus in this blog post.

Shai Linne is the rappers name and he has been faithful to the Word of God so far in all his albums. I can’t listen to him without also worshipping God and I would like to thank him for that. However in this last album he kind of stepped on some toes (as if he didn’t before with songs like “false teachers”) of some folks and it seems it hasn’t been well received. As a matter of fact one Christian rapper released a song the very next day in response to one of Shai’s songs, in a kind of battle rap intent.

I would like to say that I not only love Shai Linne and his music but I also love the men he was addressing and their music. I have listened for a few days now and do not see any ill intent from his album but a desire for the men to come back to their roots of Christian hip hop and to not be like the world with their careers. This is Shai being loving to his brethren! This is not him being “mean” or “unloving” but him being Christ-like and seeking to love his brother as he loves himself.

Back in 2004 when the Lord saved me I was very entrenched in the world’s hip hop. I listened to the most hardcore hip hop anyone could listen to but when He saved me I threw away all my rap albums, well over 100 of them. I threw them in the trash and never wanted to listen to that stuff again. Call me a legalist if you want but that was what God convicted me to do. I went a long while without listening to any music at all outside of what I heard and sang at church.

Then I found some so called Christian rap, which I didn’t know even existed. I started listening to these rappers who I thought were Christians but as I was growing I would notice them saying some heretical things in there music. So once again I got rid of it.

Then one day I heard a song by Lecrae, it was called souled out. I had already had an ill taste in my mouth for rap in general from my previous experiences but I listened intently. This song got me so pumped I immediately went and got every thing I could from him, which wasn’t much at that time. There was a line in the song that made me from that point forward recognize that hip hop can not only be good but it can teach and it can be set apart from the world! I loved it!!! I’ve never heard a rapper use words such as “systematic theology” and “eschatology” in a song before. It was almost like Lecrae was expounding God’s Word in rap music and he actually was.

From the time I fell in love with Lecrae’s music I started to listen to Trip Lee, Tedashii, Timothy Brindle, and haven’t even heard of Shai Linne yet. They all were still so small, I remember driving for about two hours to attend a free concert from Lecrae in Indiana. There were maybe 50 people there and the signs outside were small cardboard signs that were handwritten that said “free rap concert.” That was probably in 2005 and since then I’ve purchased every album he has released and found every song that I know he was featured in. I say all of this to say I love Lecrae and the 116 clique.

Now back to Shai’s album. I truly appreciate him loving his brother enough to take all the flack he has taken via twitter, rap songs in response, and whatever other means by which people have given him for it. Shai has Lecrae’s best interest at heart by calling him out and wanting him to come back to his roots. The writer of Proverbs say’s “open rebuke is better than secret love” and this is what Shai is showing in this album. He most certainly doesn’t hate Lecrae or 116. He most certainly doesn’t want to hurt Lecrae or 116. He wants the same thing I want and that’s them to be bold for the gospel. He wants them to be unashamed for the gospel as their motives were back when I started to listen.

I’m thankful for Shai’s album just as I’m thankful for Lecrae’s albums. Though I doubt anyone could argue that Lecrae is as bold now as he was in 2004. As I think on this I may not be as bold now as I was in 2004 and sometimes I need a swift kick in the rear end to get my head right. I’m glad that Shai was bold enough to do it and I think as Christians we shouldn’t get all uptight when we get corrected, especially when it’s in love by another Christian. I hope and pray that Lecrae listens to this album over and over again and truly hears Shai’s heart and love for him. I also pray for those that read this that you see true biblical love being shown in his album and my post. Then maybe one day Shai and Lecrae could help put together another 116 Clique album called the “14 letters” to finish up the New Testament.

For His Glory!

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