Month: August 2012

One of the “Greatest” Bible Verses

I don’t know the author, but there’s a breakdown of John 3:16 that shows how it is one of the “greatest” verses in God’s Word.

It’s called: The Superlative

FOR GOD – The Greatest Love

SO LOVED – The Greatest Degree

THE WORLD – The Greatest Company

THAT HE GAVE – The Greatest Act

HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – The Greatest Gift

THAT WHOSOEVER – The Greatest Opportunity

BELIEVETH – The Greatest Simplicity

IN HIM – The Greatest Attraction

SHOULD NOT PERISH – The Greatest Promise

BUT – The Greatest Difference

HAVE – The Greatest Certainty

EVERLASTING – The Greatest Duration

LIFE – The Greatest Possession

Now how great is that?

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Calvinism’s “Unconditional” Loses Election

Despite what some in the religious world thinks or teaches, there are doctrines that are false and dangerous and Calvinism is one of them. Calvinism fundamentally changes the way one must view the entire gospel of Jesus Christ from beginning to end. It changes the meaning of why Jesus had to die, it changes the meaning of what the cross stands for and it changes the invitation to man given by God!

Calvinism begins with Total Hereditary Depravity. It teaches that people are born completely wicked and so spiritually depraved and separated from God that we deserve hell the moment we’re born. Other than the obvious, another result of the doctrine teaches that we can’t do anything good spiritually or choose to love God and come to him in faith. So how can a person ever be saved if there’s no way that we can choose to do good, choose to believe or choose to come to God? What’s the solution???

The solution to that situation (according the Calvinism), whether we’re lost or saved, is that when it comes to salvation the decision has already been made for us and there’s nothing anyone can do about it! From that point on, the unconditionally conditional doctrine of Calvinism’s Unconditional Election walks in the door as a welcome or unwelcome guest; it all depends on what position you find yourself placed in spiritually.

When you get past all the “pleasant talk” Unconditional Election says that God doesn’t ask a sinner to do anything when it comes to responding to his offer of salvation through grace. This goes for both salvation and damnation! The real issue with unconditional election isn’t whether or not God has an elect people (because he does), it’s whether or not that election is unconditional.

There’s an inconvenient flip-side to Unconditional Election that’s not very logical much less scriptural. If a person is unconditionally chosen for salvation by no choice of their own, then the flip-side is that another person is unconditionally chosen for damnation by no choice of their own. To put it more plainly – the flip-side of being unconditionally elected is being unconditionally rejected!!!

Unconditional Election destroys the fundamental foundation of the gospel that says “whosoever believes should not perish” in John 3:16. Calvinism says “whosoever” doesn’t mean “whosoever” because “whosoever” means a choice; and unconditional election gives a person no choice when it comes to salvation or condemnation!!! The doctrine of Unconditional Election says “wait, we do have a choice – the choice we made when Adam sinned.” Talk about being disingenuous with words! What kind of choice is choice if it’s chosen for us?

A huge question is: If a person is unconditionally elected or unconditionally rejected without any consideration for personal response or responsibility then why did Jesus act a like a person is personally responsible? Think about it for a minute… (more…)

You Can Be a Part of the Kingdom of God Today

Many in the religious world are confused in thinking that the kingdom of God has not yet been revealed, but such thinking would have been a shock to Paul and the first century Christians. The brothers and sisters at Colossi were told:

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood,the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:12-14).

Through faith in the gospel of Christ, the citizens of Colossi had become present-day citizens of God’s kingdom, and we can do the same (Philippians 3:20).

The kingdom of God is present in the world today, but it is not a kingdom that originated with the world (John 18:36). God’s kingdom is not limited by physical borders (Luke 17:20-21), nor does it suffer from political turmoil as the leadership remains the same at all times (1 Timothy 6:15). It’s a kingdom of citizens who seek to serve (Luke 22:24-26). It’s a kingdom open to all but entered into by few (Matthew 7:21; John 3:3-5). It’s a kingdom started by the love of God and kept by the strength of God so you can be a part of the kingdom of God (Matthew 16:18-19; Hebrews 12:28-29). EA

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

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By What Authority?

While Jesus was giving the people a public lesson in the temple, the religious leaders of the day came to Him and asked where He got His authority to teach what He taught. He responded by asking, “…I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” (Luke 20:3,4).

Even a visitor to Judea would know to whom John gave credit concerning the message he preached and the baptism he administered. Jesus’ interviewers knew the answer too; but because of this group’s stubborn pride and traditions they did not want to answer their own question by answering Jesus’ (just read vs. 5-7).

The baptism that Jesus and the rest of the people had submitted to received its authority from the same place that had given Jesus the authority to teach what He taught the people – Heaven.

There is nothing wrong in asking someone where they have “received their authority” to teach whatever is being taught spiritually. As a matter of fact there is everything right with it (1st John 4:1) as long as the person asking the questions is asking with the right attitude and intention (Luke 20:20).

Some people get offended by being asked that question while others can get offended by the answer they receive; but the possible offence must not take priority over the importance of having the proper authority in religious matters. Christians are exhorted to do what we do with the right authority to do it:

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

When it comes to salvation, to worship, to church relationships, to morality and to whatever facet of the faith that falls in-between, we should be willing to ask “by what authority” is this being done or taught, while at the same time being willing to accept the answer when the proper authority is given. If our answer is determined by the “authority” of a manmade council, a manmade creed, a manmade tradition, a manmade synod, a manmade catechism or a manmade head of the church, then our authority is coming from the wrong place (1st Peter 4:11). EA

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)

Bible Questions and Answers – Women Preachers in the Lord’s Church?

“Dear brother Clem: Is it scriptural to have women preachers in the church? Some of them have very good Bible knowledge. – L.H., OH”

The Bible says, very plainly, “Let the women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as also saith the law” (1 Corinthians 14:34). Another passage that deals with this is 1 Timothy 2:8, 11-12, “I desire therefore that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing … Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.” In context, these two passages prohibit women from being preachers in the Lord’s church.

In 1 Corinthians 14, God is speaking of the assembly of the church, and says that women are to “keep silence.” In the previous verses, He has given instructions about how men are to speak in the church assembly, but He gives no such teaching about women speaking. He simply says that they are not to speak. In 1 Timothy 2, in a public setting, men pray or teach. But God has placed some restrictions on women in a public setting (vs. 11-12). Theses restrictions are not upon men, but only upon women.

Notice the wording: “I permit not a woman to teach.” The Greek word for “to teach” in this passage is from “didasko,” which means a lecture or a sermon or discourse. It is the word from which we get “didactic” which applies specifically to a sermon – in which the speaker has control of the material in the assembly. Thus, in a public setting, a woman is not allowed to teach, or preach. That many women in the Lord’s church have a great knowledge of the Scriptures is certainly true. But more than that is necessary for a good sermon. A good sermon begins with God’s stamp of approval, and He has not approved women for the pulpit in the Lord’s church.

I know many people will argue this, for the denominational world has seen many women preachers. But if we are to be governed by what God has said, we just cannot do it. It is not a question of a woman’s ability nor her knowledge. The question hinges only on God’s authority. And He does not authorize women preachers. – Clem Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 61, Number 30 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.