Archive for salvation

Calvinist No More

Posted in Christianity with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by julietsm

I once considered myself a Calvinist, and in many regards I still do.  I can no longer align myself with many of the others who call themselves ‘Calvinists’ for many reasons, though.

Do I believe in the absolute depravity of men?  I do.  I was in an accident in March, during which I wiped out of my motorbike during rush hour on a busy street.  Did any of the hundreds of cars going by call 911?  They did not.  Someone did stop, finding me in a pool of my own blood and you know what they did?  They took everything of value on my person, including my I.D., my cash, my phone, my jewelry, my boots and leather coat, in fact, the only reason they didn’t take my motorbike was because once on it’s side, one has to know the several tricks required to make it start up again.  I do not mention this so you can say “Oh, poor Juliet”.  Not at all.  And really, it should not have surprised me, either.  But here is a good example of the depravity of men.  The only reason I did not die in the street is because my Lord made sure that a Fire Rescue truck just ‘happened’ to be going by at the time, saw me, and took me to hospital where I remained in a coma for several days.  I didn’t remember any of it; but I knew without being told when I awakened that everything of value I had was gone.  No surprise there.  Like I said, too, I should not have been surprised at any of it.  But here is a clear example of how people without God function in the world.  Just as the Good Samaritan stopped and rendered aid to the poor man who had been robbed and beaten, the bad Samaritans did what comes naturally to them.  They took whatever they could and left me, presumably to die.

So there in that little tale lies the heart of the matter.  Without the new life, man is depraved.  He will do what comes naturally to him.  Just as the one who possesses the new life will do what the new nature enables him to do.  Had a true child of God come upon me, undoubtedly they would have taken my body from the middle of the street, called 911, and most likely would have waited until aid arrived.

Most, if not all of the Calvinist’s I know would say that this was ordained by God.  They way I see it, God rescued me.  He made sure that I was close to a red light and not zooming along when I had my petit mal seizure which is what I believe caused the accident, as I have had them in the past.  He also made certain that there would be help arriving, so I would not die in the road.  If God had wanted to take me then, of course He could have done so.  He did not.  I am still not certain why this happened, (it could just easily be the sort of thing that happens in a fallen world every day) but I just don’t believe that God ‘made it happen’.  I believe that God uses evil for His purposes, but not that he is the Author of it.  Calvinists don’t see it like that, and if you dare to disagree with them, you will soon find yourself an enemy, or they will tell you that you cannot possibly be saved unless you agree.

I don’t see what the point of a world where God is the cause of everything could possibly be.  If He is just the Puppetmaster, than really the whole thing becomes absurd.  On the other hand, I do believe there are many things which are not given to man to know.  How could we know what God knows?  We are not God.

Truly, God knows the end from the beginning.  This does not mean, however, that we are merely puppets and are acting out a script which He has written in the minutest detail.  If this were so, then I  surely do not know God!

And yet, I do.  He has shown me the utmost kindness and love from the time of my childhood.  He has told me things, taught me things, and has saved my life on more than one occasion.

If you read the article which Bookmyar wrote, I am sure you can understand why I am divorcing myself from the Calvinist community on the internet.  These are some of the most unloving and unkind people I have known.  (I don’t mean all of them, either…  I have met some amazing Christians whose doctrine I believe to be sound, and yet you will never hear them glorying in the judgements of God with nary a word of His lovingkindness and grace.  Quite the opposite, in fact.)

No, God is not the Author of Evil.  If He were, He would be the devil wouldn’t He?  God is love, pure love, and while He is also perfectly just it does not give Him pleasure to have little children raped nor does He plan for that.  He may permit it to happen for His own reasons, which clearly have not been given us to know, but I can assure that if you look at Christ in the gospels, you will find the most loving and kind and sinless man/God.  Why is Jesus so beloved after millennia?  Because of His wondrous love and sweetness.

Mind you, because I have no doctorates in theology and am just a layman, those who do will read my words and think what an ignorant little girl I must be.

And so how do you account for all the illiterate people who have been saved?  I daresay they were not Calvinists, they could not even read the Bible!  God saves those He has compassion upon, and mercy on whom He has mercy on.  I trust that whatever God does, it is going to be perfect as He is perfect.

I don’t know about you, but my God does not have little children raped.

He does chastise His children, and the wrath of abides upon the unsaved, and yet “All things work together for good with them that are called by God according to His purposes”.  I don’t understand these Calvinists.

Jesus told us to be like little children; to trust Him the way a child trusts.  That is exactly what I am going to do.  I am not going to wrack up doctorates and think myself superior to those who do not have their knowledge.  I am going to continue to read and study the Word of God and pray for growth.  To be more loving, more forgiving, and more like our Lord and Saviour.

I am sorry, but trying to picture Jesus ordering one of the disciples to go and ‘rape that child for his sins’ is not in my abilities.

God is good.  In Him is no darkness or shadow of turning.

I may not understand a lot of things, but the one thing I do understand  is that God has preserved me, He has saved my life repeatedly, He has taught me all of the good things I know.  I could never have survived in this world without Him.

God does not ‘ordain’ torture and rape and murder’!  If He did, what would make Him someone we should love and worship?

Shame on those of you who would think such a vile thing!  His eyes are too pure to even behold evil, much less be the mastermind of it!

julietsm

For Those Who Claim They are without Sin

Posted in Christianity, Doctrines of Grace with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by julietsm

17422-thumbnailHow dare anyone claim to be without sin.  Yet there are many who make this very claim, and tell the rest of us that we are without faith, are not saved, and do not know the Lord.

How dare they!

Anyone who has been called by God and drawn to Christ are aware that we must be ever-vigilant, that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and that sin can and often does flare up in us if we are not constantly on our guard against temptation.  If, when a person is saved they are made perfect, then why does our Lord continually warn us about false teachers, lest we be deceived by them?  Would Jesus have to warn us if we were truly perfect? 

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”.  (Psalms 119:11)

Why should we bother to hide His word in our heart since we are perfect now?  In fact, I guess that once you are born again you must have no need for God’s Word, so I guess we can dispense with the Bible reading altogether.  What would be the point?  We are just like our Lord now, and are without sin.  We may as well throw our Bibles away, they serve no useful purpose for us now.  

Have you any idea how arrogant and boastful that sounds?  Yet there are some of you (many) in fact, who have taken this stance on YouTube, and have even made videos concerning this very topic.  You claim that those of us who are not without sin are not saved.  Mind, it goes a lot deeper than that.  Openairpreacher called me a satanic wiccan and other things not fit to print.  Same thing with finalcall07, just two of the plethora of false teacher and heretics to be found on the internet.  Have these people failed to read and understand I John I:8,7?  “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins  and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned,   we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives.”  

How do they justify these Scriptures?    I can tell you this;  a person has to be blind not to see those Scripture verses and cringe if they have been going around boasting about being sinless.  Yet I confronted one of them with those verses, and instead of being convicted and admitting that they were wrong, they made up some convoluted story about how those verses were expressly for the “arrogant Calvinists that are not part of the body of Christ.  Those who believe in the sovereignty of God cannot be Christians!”  Don’t we believe, after all, that salvation is a work of God in us?  And isn’t it true that God may have made the sacrifice, but it is our WILL which either declines or chooses to be good little children?

No.  That is not true.  Our will is depraved, unless God called us to Himself we would never know Him.

When will they face that we are a FALLEN race?  We are not able to come to God of our own volition!  The Father must do a prevenient work in the soul of the believer to draw him to Christ.  If He did not do this, nobody would come to Christ!  NOBODY.  God grants us repentence.  It takes a good man to repent, but a good man wouldn’t need to repent.  Therefore God grants some to repentance; that is, His elect.

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honoured the Word of the Lord, and all who were appointed to eternal life believed.”                                                                                                    Acts 13:14

You see, people do not like the hard truths of Christianity, and so make a god after the imaginations of their own hearts.  Jesus said that those who stand for the truth stand with Him.  People who distort Scripture to mean what they want it to say actually oppose Christ, and cannot possibly love Him.  If you love the Lord, you will be irrisistably drawn to His Word and to Him.  You will accept the Word as it is written, and not put a spin on the things that you find unfair or hard to take.

There is something which we must believe.  God is perfect, and perfectly good.  And though there may be parts of the Bible that you feel must be wrong, you have to trust God and His justice and trust that He is perfect and perfectly good.  The longer we walk with Him, the more we realise that there is nothing in the Word that makes our God out to be anything other than that.  If we still believe that, then we also have to realise that as fallen people who are born evil, we are hardly in a position to determine that which is good anyway.  God says His ways are not our ways, and that our absolute best is as filthy rags to Him.  Mind you, once we are in Christ, He sees us differently.  Righteousness has been credited to our account.  Though we will strive for the rest of our lives to submit to God in every area of our lives, we are still going to fall short.

Thank God for Jesus Christ!

Please, young Christians, it is imperitive that you are grounded in the Word, that you do hide His Word in your hearts so that you might not sin against Him.  Do not take everything at face value, but be like the Bereans, and compare everything that a so-called Christian says and measure it against the Word of God.

There are an awful lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing out there.  There are a lot of false teachers out there.  There are a lot of people who profess to be Christians out there, but that does not make it so.

Your Bible is the most important possession you have.  You must read from the Word every day, and more, study it!  Jesus would not have given us all those warnings for nothing.  There are people who seek to harm you and your faith, and while nobody can ultimately cause you to fall away if you are truly His, we also must do everything to make our calling and election sure.  We must ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’.

May the God of all peace bless you to the fullest measure, and may He keep you until the Day of Christ Jesus.

“For by grace you have been saved by faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any one should boast.”                                                                                                                                                 Ephesians 2:8.9

julietsm

Not All Men Will Be Saved

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2009 by julietsm

16365-bigthumbnailThere are some doctrines in the Bible which are difficult, nevertheless they are true.  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55: 8,9

People find it distasteful that it says in the Word of God “In fact,, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins”

Hebrews 9:22

As I go deeper and deeper into the point I am making, you are going to find that you will like what I am saying less and less.  Perhaps.  That all depends on whether or not you have learned to love the Truth.  There are many who profess Christ who do not love His Truth.  If you do not love the Truth, then I am afraid you do not love God, because they are One and the same.  God is Truth.  In fact, if you try to define truth without God you will have to abandon any efforts straight away, because there must be a standard by which you begin, an absolute cause, and that absolute cause and standard is the Word of God.  And the Word of God is God.  Remember?  In the beginning was the Word?  And the Word was with God and the Word was God?  Basic Christianity 101.

There are a good many people on the internet who like to argue the cause of Universalism.  They like to use a Scripture like John 3:16, and then throw away the hundreds of other Scriptures which do not support what is they think John 3:16 is saying.  It isn’t saying what they think it is saying anyway.  What it is saying is that God has so much love for His elect, His chosen people, that He sent His Son to die for them, taking their sins and dispensing with them so that He can give them eternal life with Him.  On what basis does God choose His people?  That is not given for man to know.  And yet so many people have argued with me that all men will be saved.  Let’s break it down…

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The basic sense of the Greek word for the world meaning ‘an ornament’ is illustrated by the word ‘adornment’ (1 Peter 3:3)  While the NT uses it a total of 185 times, John had a particular fondness for this term, using it 78 times in his Gospel, 24 times in 1-3 John and 3 times in Revelation.  John gives it several shades of meaning, 1) the physical created universe, 2) humanity in general, 3) the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, His Word, and His people. 

So which one of these uses did John have in mind when he wrote John 3:16?  He meant humanity in general.  But who, of those who fit the bill, will be saved?  Those who believe in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.  Do you suppose that He is going to somehow forgo that clause because He is such a nice guy?  “I could never believe in a God who would send anyone to hell”.  Okay.  Fine.  Don’t.  You don’t believe in the God of the Bible anyway.  I could never believe in a God who writes a Bible and then doesn’t go by what He sets down in it.  Salvation is serious business.  If we cannot trust the Word of God then we can trust nothing.  As for me, I trust and believe in the Word of God 100%.  This means, however, that there will be some who perish because ‘they refused to love the truth’.  Please do not try to tell me that every single person you know believes in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of mankind. 

I remember just recently I was at a video forum where a person wrote to me “I have not read anything anywhere in Ephesians about the predestination of some to salvation.  I couldn’t believe it.  Can someone actually block certain words out of their minds when they read the Word of God?

“”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Ephesians 1:3:6

“And we know that all things work together for good with them that love God and are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Morover whom He predestined, these He also called, whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

Romans 8:28-30

Okay, so now I know what comes next.  There are those of you who are going to tell me that everyone is saved, we are all predestined.  We are all the elect.  Sounds stupid, but okay.  I can point out Scripture that answers that too.  See, here is the problem.  You do not want to hear the truth.  If you do not wish to hear the truth it can only be because you are not saved.  If you are not saved, my reccomendation to you is to cry out to God to save you.  Admit that you are a piece of dirt, the most vile sinner who ever lived.  If you really believe that there may be hope for you.  If you do not believe that, I am afraid that until you do believe it there is no hope for you.  Self-righteousness is a sin that many people fall into, and it is deadly.  It keeps us from acknowledging the truth before God.  If you think you pass before God with the sin of self-righeousness and go skipping merrily into heaven you are mad.  God is holy.  Holy God cannot tolerate sin, which is why I told you at the outset that without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin.  People have accused of God of being bloodthirsty, yet He is the One who paid the sin-debt for His people, so I am afraid you are wrong on that count.  And if you are someone who is saying that, then you are a God-hater and there is little hope for you either.

God loves His people.  And He enables us to love Him, because we are, by nature, God-haters.  We are by nature children of wrath.  But everything we need for salvation is given to us, as a gift.  Those who do not have the gift do not understand this, and are trying to earn it.  It cannot be earned.  It can only be given.  That is why you have such hostility for we have the gift.  You think we think we are better.  We do not think we are better, in fact we know we aren’t better!

My recommendation to you is to cry out to God.  Admit to Him just how wretched you are.  Do you think you are wretched?  See, you can’t just work up a few tears and pretend you think you are awful.  You must know that you are.  Do you know that you are a bad person?  Do you know just how depraved you are today?  Listen, if you need for me to quote you some more Scriptures for you before you are willing to believe that not everyone is going to be saved, I will be happy to do so.  I really don’t think that is the problem though.  I honestly don’t think you understand just how depraved and vile and sinful and hateful and horrible you are.  

But don’t worry.  If you are a child of God, He will make sure you do understand.  You aren’t going to have much fun going through that part, but whatever it takes to get you there, He will do it.

Please understand my motivation for writing this article.  There are many of you who are God’s elect out there who do not yet know it.  You are resisting God’s truth out of stubbornness or for any number of reasons.  I keep thinking of Blanche DuBoise in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire” saying “Don’t!  Don’t hang back with the brutes!”  Yes, it sounds over-the-top but this is serious stuff, there is nothing more serious than the salvation of souls.  My heart will give me no rest knowing that there are people out there who do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ.  I truly do love my neighbor as myself, or at least I do as much as I am able, and every day I am learning to do it more and more.  The one thing I do care about is that those who belong to the Saviour get to know Him sooner rather than later.  The sooner we get to know our Lord the sooner we can begin our Christian walk and the sooner we can start producing fruit.  There is so much hate in this wretched world then if for no other reason I want to see as many come to Christ as soon as possible.  And among professing Christians I see so much hatred I am appalled!  Can these truly be Christians?  I am continually shocked by the number of Christians who daily call me a ‘satanist’, ‘witch’, and told I am ‘not saved’ because of a difference in doctrine.  And then there are those who claim to be without sin.  Oh, those really kill me.  Though we are saved, we will never stop sinning in this lifetime, never.  The root of sin is so deep that it will never be fully excised, not in this life.

I pray that everyone who reads this article is saved, either already or that they do come to Christ.  I pray that if they have been behaving in a manner unbefitting one who professes Christ, that would immediately stop; I pray that those who have been blinded by false doctrines will be enlightened to the truth…  I pray that those who are deluding themselves will cease and desist immediately!

I pray, Father, that your will be done in everyone’s life and that You are Glorified in All Things.

 

julietsm

Can You Be Sure?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 11, 2009 by julietsm

17940-bigthumbnailWe all struggle with sin.  Its a fact.  Anyone who says they have no sin is a liar.  As I continue to walk with the Lord, I realise just how deep that taproot goes…to our very hearts.  Sin will never be fully excised from our hearts as long as we are in this world.  Don’t believe me?  Then yours is the sin of self-righteousness, and we as Christians know that we have no righteousness of our own.  We have the righteousness of Christ, if we are now in Him.

I see videos and read articles all the time that I think are very damaging to the struggling believer.  A person who is born again is going to spend the rest of his life doing battle with sin.  No, we are not to just accept it but to fight it, and yet there are some sins that you may never stop struggling with.  I read a wonderful transcript of a discussion that John MacArthur had with Phil Johnson and Richard Mayhue.  I found some wonderful things in that transcript, things which encouraged me greatly.  The discussion was about election and predestination, a doctrine which I believe to be true.  There are more than enough Scriptures which speak of this: Romans 8:29,30 says “Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  And those whom He predestined, these He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified, these He also glorifed”.  Are we going to thwart the will of God?  I think not. 

John MacArthur makes a paricularly interesting point:  “And yet there are people – and this has happened to me many times – who say: I guess I am just not chosen.  And that comes from people who, for the most part, make some kind of commitment to Christ, but just can’t live a life that serves the Lord.  They just can’t get over some besetting sin.  They just – they can’t, you know, get out of some bad relationship or over some pornography or – I don’t know what it is, its varying things.  There are sins that beleager certain people.  And you know, they make this confession; I want to be saved and I – so they finally get to the point where they are just absolutely exhausted with this battle that they are fighting.  And they’ll say, you know, maybe I’m just not chosen.  And the truth of the matter was, you know, I would drive him back to Romans 7 and have him read what Paul said: The things i want to do I don’t do; the things I don’t want to do, I do.  Oh, poor me, I’m not chosen.  No.  I mean, its only a question of degree.  We’re all in the same battle.  I mean we could all come to the conclusion, I must not be chosen.  I must not be chosen, I can’t get over the proverbial hump here.  When do I – when do I hit the slide?  You know, when do I stop climbing this thing and start sliding?  Well, it isn’t going to happen.  You know, you don’t want to second-guess your salvation, which manifests itself in a love for Christ and a longing to be what you can’t be to some degree.”

You know, I started out this article with the intention of doing something completely different, but I felt compelled as I was writing it to share this with you, because I found it gave me enormous relief.  The older we get, the more sin bothers us, and the more we want to conquer it once and for all.  I can tell you this from experience…it isn’t going to happen.  That is the very reason Christ died for us!  And if the Father gave His Son for us, what will He withhold from us?  God wants you to be saved.  It is His desire that you be saved, and we cannot thwart the will of God!  I cannot stress this enough.  Don’t buckle under the pressure of videos and articles and preachers telling you that you must be spotless to enter the Kingdom, because you are already in if you are a lover of Jesus Christ.  By all means, don’t give in to your sin, keep fighting it, but no matter what your particular Goliath is, it is not, never ever going to keep you from being with Christ.  We do not enter the Kingdom because of our works, but because of what Christ did for us.  I am never going to allow these Pharaseeistic teachers to ever convince me that I have any reason to doubt what Christ said: that any man that comes to Him He will in no wise cast out.  He will not do it!  God is love, and He has set His sights on us.

There is nothing that can ever separate us from the Love of Christ.  If we love and follow Jesus, then we are His, and He will never abandon us.  I beg all the children of God to stop doubting their salvation.  Nobody ever entered heaven out of fear of going to hell – God has chosen us, and we are His.

What we need to do more than anything is to praise Him, because if you are a true believer, it is Christ’s atoning work on the cross which saves us; His shed blood which covers our sin.  No, this is not a license to sin, but it is assurance that in the great scheme of things, the matter is settled.  There is therfore now no comdemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Amen!

julietsm