Twice dead? Not without being born twice.

In his description of sneaky false teachers, Jude uses these words:

These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit—twice dead, uprooted; wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.” (Jude 12,13 – NET)

Nearly every reputable translation (as well as some not-so-reputable ones) uses the simple phrase “twice dead” when it comes to these fruitless trees. This is a description that should not only be concerning to anyone who falls into this spiritual category, it should be concerning to anyone who teaches or believes that once an indidvual is born-again, he or she can never abuse God’s grace to the extent that God’s grace is no longer afforded to that individual. The simple fact of the matter is one cannot be twice dead without being born twice. Someone who has never been alive spiritually cannot die spiritually one time, much less twice.

God’s grace through Jesus can indeed keep us from falling away from the gift of salvation – all you have to do is read how Jude ends his letter; but to say that keeping ourselves in the love of God is equal to not being able to forsake that love is to say something that holds no more water than the clouds that get mentioned right before the trees.

#calvinism, #false-doctrine, #jude, #once-saved-always-saved

13 Objections to Baptism by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation. Read >>

#apologetics-press, #baptism, #calvinism, #errors-of-denominationalism, #faith-only, #grace-only, #plan-of-salvation, #salvation, #salvation-before-baptism, #sinners-prayer, #thief-on-the-cross, #works-that-merit

Dear Calvinist friend

Dear Calvinist friend,

What does it mean to sigh?

In case you’re not familiar with the meaning, the technical definitions are: 1.) (as a verb) to emit a long, deep, audible breath expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling, and 2.) (as a noun) a long, deep, audible exhalation expressing sadness, relief, tiredness, or a similar feeling.

To say the least, practically speaking, sighing is a very human emotion that mixes frustration and pain and the overwhelming sensation of unbelief at the situation that can accompany either or both.

Did you know Jesus sighed? More than once according to scripture. But one time in particular is found in Mark 8:12 which says, “But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.”

Why did Jesus sigh in Mark 8:12? I mean that wasn’t just a sigh in the flesh there – it was a God in the flesh sigh that went all the way down to his spirit!

Well, think about the situation that he was facing.

Sign after sign after sign after sign had already been given to the people (just read John’s gospel – not to mention the miracle that Mark had just covered) but the entire culmination of those signs couldn’t be anything but one big sigh on the part of Jesus because of the unbelief on the part of the people!

Why would Jesus sigh if the people couldn’t help but be caught in unbelief at that time? Better yet, why would Jesus be caught in a state of frustrating unbelief if the people weren’t capable of doing what he desired of them? Either way it’s a good question. How could Jesus not believe what he was hearing if the people couldn’t believe in what he was doing?

My Calvinist friend, I hope you understand what I’m about to say when I think of the damage that the doctrine of irresistible grace has done to the truth of free-will and the responsibility that comes with it in the eyes of many of its followers…sigh.

#calvinism, #irresistible-grace, #jesus, #unbelief

Cornelius was no Calvinist and You Shouldn’t be Either!

I was told the other day by an adherent to Calvinistic theology that (and I quote):

“The free human will can do a lot of things; but it cannot will anything pleasing to God; because the natural human mind cannot submit to God’s law.”

The first thing/question that popped into my head after thinking about what they said was, “A free will that’s only free enough to do things that do not please God? Doesn’t sound very “free” to me.” After all, if a person has no free will concerning their will toward God they have no will at all!

But then I started thinking about what the scriptures say (outside of the plainly contradicted verse of Romans 2:14) concerning people before they became a Christian and whether or not their will had any will to do the will of God and one person in particular came to mind, and that was Cornelius. Cornelius is a case that simply reveals how wrong Calvinistic theology is when it comes to their complicated and contradictory teaching on the free will (or the lack thereof) of men and women, for the scriptures (with emphasis added) say concerning Cornelius that:

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius! “And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.” (Acts 10:1-7)

Cornelius was a good man, but like all sinners who are not in Christ he was not saved. But despite the fact that he was not saved, i.e. he needed to be quickened due to being dead in sins (Ephesians 2:1-5), Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God, and they were pleasing even to the extent that the Bible says that his works reached Heaven itself! That’s right; Cornelius did things that were pleasing to God before hearing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius was doing what Calvinism says can’t be done – he willed, and he did things that God took note of in a positive way. Sure, Cornelius still had to come to the Father through the Son because his good works could never justify his sinful deeds, but the point still remains, and that point is that God Himself took note of this man’s free will that willed to do the will of God.

Furthermore, take note of what the angel of God said to Cornelius. It was the angel who told Cornelius that Peter would tell him what he must do. What had to be done had to be done by Cornelius and it had to be done of his own free will, for if his will was anything other than free it would not have been Cornelius who was doing it, nor would there have been anything for him to do. There was nothing that he could do to make God owe his salvation to him, but something had to be done by Cornelius’ will, which willed to please God, in response to the gospel of Christ for this was and still is the will of God concerning the lost (John 3:16).

This is why I say that Cornelius was no Calvinist and you shouldn’t be either!

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

#calvinism, #conversion-of-cornelius, #free-will, #individual-responsibility, #pleasing-god, #theology

The Absurdity of Calvinism Keeps Rolling

The last post that I did concerning Calvinism dealt with the absurdity of its adhere’s (primarily the words of John MacArthur) inviting someone to come to Jesus because at the end of the day (according to Calvinism) it has already been decided whether or not they’re going to listen or stay right where they are regardless of humanity’s interaction, involvement, intervention or whatever you want to call it. Because as the old Calvinistic saying goes, if you don’t have it you can’t get it, if you get it you can’t lose it and if you lose it you never had it – which leaves a person asking why would they even invite someone to come to Jesus if that person can’t accept or reject the invitation for his or her self to begin with?

Well that post caught the attention of a person who decided to make a reply that fell three words short of 2,200 words (by comparison, this post is 20+ words shy of 1,000). The reply didn’t get approved, and it wasn’t because it made some point that I was “afraid of” or because “I couldn’t handle” what they presented. I didn’t approve the reply because there was nothing new to it or in it, and it added nothing significant to the conversation at all despite the vast number of words it used. It was more of the “your blog is nothing but opinion that tries to hide the truth of God’s word” along with a few other little “compliments” mixed in here and there. But again, that’s nothing new either; but all of that aside, there were a couple of other very closely related reasons why I didn’t approve the comment; namely because the comment and the commentator only revealed more of the absurdity that I referred to with the original post that attracted the comment to begin with. It revealed the fact that the majority of Calvinists don’t really believe what they preach!

For one, this person used 2,200 words to try to do something that they, according to their own teaching, couldn’t do – that’s make someone “see the truth.” Because according to them, and I quote in the caps that they used, “SALVATION IS A DIVINE WORK OF GOD APART FROM THE COOPERATION OF MAN.” To that my question in return is, in the caps that I’m going to use, “WHEN IT COMES TO THE GOSPEL WHY EVEN BOTHER TO TELL SOMEONE THAT THEY’RE WRONG IF YOU CAN’T HAVE AN EFFECT ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY SEE THEIR ERROR???” That’s absurdity! If, as they said, “The will to come to Christ is the outcome of God’s unconditional, free and Sovereign election” is true, and they really believe that, then why even try to convince someone of something to which they cannot be convinced of through the given effort?!

And as far as the whole salvation issue goes, how does this person indeed know that they are correct in their belief that God’s grace has forgiven them if they have NO PART TO PLAY IN THEIR SALVATION? Don’t dare suggest it’s because of something that they’ve done because then that would be absurd to them if they’re willing to remain consistent with their belief! Remember, they have nothing to do with whether or not they’re saved.

The second reason I didn’t approve the dissertation of denial concerning Calvinism’s absurd invitation to come to Christ is because of the commentator’s inconsistency concerning their stance on the issue of salvation and God’s love towards others. On this particular commentator’s blog they presented a book to their readers called “Jesus Loves The Little Children” wherein the Calvinist author presents “the Gospel without words” so children can learn about sin and Jesus. Besides the fact that it sounds like they’re trying to do “the Spirit’s work” for him again, the title is in fact true but the title is in fact incongruous with what they believe, for if a child is not a part of “God’s unconditionally elect” then there is no love for that child! Because according to their own belief every child that is born is born already saved or already damned to Hell despite what Jesus did upon the cross. Now this is how they said it in their reply: Unregenerated man is dead in his sins, blind to the gospel, in enmity (having a deep hatred) with God, not subject to God’s will and never can be. But my description only says what they teach with a little more frankness and honesty concerning children that few Calvinists will share. So to be genuine with this commentator’s doctrine and self-purported beliefs the title of the book should be changed to, “Jesus Loves The Little Unconditionally Elect Children And Only Them” no matter how it may sound to others…because after all, that’s the “truth” of the “gospel” according to Calvinism!

This is the whole reason why I called Calvinism’s invitation to come to Christ absurd to begin with, and it’s also the reason why I’m not going to deal with the absurd inconsistencies of its commentators who try to defend it.

There are few things more absurd than trying to talk with people who refuse to remain consistent with the plants that their doctrinal seeds lead to – namely, in this case, the poor and pitiful salvation blinding TULIP that Calvinism presents as the supposed truth. The absurdity may keep rolling but I’m not rolling with it.

Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that when the Pharisees heard this saying they were offended?” And he replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mt. 15:12-14 – NET)

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#calvinism, #comments, #error, #false-doctine

The Absurdity of the Calvinistic Invitation to come to Christ

I just listened to a sermon by John MacArthur entitled, “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1” in which he tried to ridicule “evangelicals” who believe that Jesus died and paid the price for sin for every single person by saying that they use the Gospel to try to “coerce” people into coming to Jesus; and once again, which is on par for Calvinists, his lesson became full of circular logic, inconsistent reasoning’s and error filled conclusions that were reached because the starting point was wrong to begin with.

On multiple occasions he referenced how a belief in universal atonement automatically requires a belief in universal salvation – which are two different things! And then he proceeded to “explain” how any atonement other than a “limited one” is actually an atonement that fails, thus requiring Jesus, due to his own logic (he actually talks about what makes sense to him which I didn’t think matters to Calvinists due to the whole irresistible aspect and perverted sovereignty of God), to only shed his sin atoning blood for people who were always going to be saved to begin with and not for people who believe of their own free will through the preaching of God’s grace and judgment of sin in the gospel.

But the kicker for me is how Mr. MacArthur ended the sermon. After all the berating of “evangelicals” who supposedly coerce others with emotion, and after all the talk about how a person has no free will in the matter, this is how he ended his sermon* on “Actual Atonement” (aka Limited Atonement):

All who will ever believe, will believe because the Father will draw them, and he will grant them repentance, and faith, and regeneration. Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save. The atonement is an actual atonement, not simply a barrier removed. And it is in behalf of all who would ever believe, and since the sinner is unwilling and unable to believe apart from divine intervention and regeneration it comes then down to the power of God based upon the decree of God.

People say, “Well how do you know whether Christ died for you?” The answer is, “Whosoever will may come, and if you come and believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then the death of Christ was for you.” Don’t hold back, come to Christ.” (John MacArthur – minute 18:00 – 19:15 of the audio from “The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 1“)

Here are my big issues with such a conclusion based upon the content of what had already been said in the sermon:

  • Why in the world would someone invite someone to believe when that individual has no choice in the matter?
  • Why would you say that a sinner is unwilling to believe when they are unable to believe? One overrides the other making a “person’s will” in the matter non-influential, non-negotiable, non-consequential and non-existent.
  • Why would someone mention anything about “whosoever will” or even use the word “if” if a person’s salvation is supposedly unconditional?
  • Why would someone’s response to the invitation matter if a person’s response to the invitation doesn’t determine whether or not they’re actually saved – because you never know, Jesus may not have died for them, right?
  • Why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t hold back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Heaven? Or why in the world would you tell someone to not hold back and come to Christ if they can’t keep from holding back because they’ve already been signed and sealed for Hell?
  • Why would a person try to “coerce” an individual by using emotion and saying don’t hold back and come to Christ if in reality the response to the invitation has nothing to do with a person’s will at the end of the day?

An invitation given by a “true Calvinist” is nothing but an absurdity that does the very thing that they ridicule others for – encouraging people to make a decision about the death of Jesus upon the cross when he shed atoning blood for the entire world; but what they fail to understand is that whether or not a person accepts that free gift has nothing to do with overriding God’s sovereignty. That’s why it’s called free will by the will of God.

The doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is nothing but a doctrine invented by men that, in a twist of irony, does nothing good spiritually speaking, thus leaving it useful only as a rotten support beam to build the rest of the error filled elements of the house called Calvinism.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37 – BBE – emphasis mine)

* the given quote from the sermon was written down by author of this post as he listened to the recording and not copied from a supplied document or manuscript; therefore it may contain some grammatical errors, but the sermon snippet itself has been given word for word

#calvinism, #christianity, #death-of-christ, #false-doctrine, #limited-atonement, #religion, #theology

Understanding What’s Unconditional When it Comes to God

Mention unconditional and God in the same sentence and many in the religious world attempt to tie the two together through the word salvation. Yet, study the word of God and this principle cannot be shown.

So what is unconditional when it comes to God and mankind? It’s the love of God toward sinners.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (there’s the unconditional love), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (there’s the conditional salvation).” (John 3:16)

Conditional salvation does not mean a person earns his or her salvation, but it does mean there are responsibilities that the love of God requires.

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8, NKJV) Again there’s the unconditional love of God! But some may say, “There’s no conditional salvation there, so salvation must be unconditional!” If a person backs up just a few verses they will read, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we havepeace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2, NKJV) See how simple it is to see something when we look at all of God’s scripture instead of making individual verses stand alone.

The unconditional love of God gives humanity something to celebrate – a Creator that has expressed the fullest form of love toward fallen men and women (John 15:12-14). The conditional salvation by faith toward God gives humanity something to seriously consider – a salvation that requires faith and a willingness to change in light of the love that God has shown through Jesus (Acts 17:30-31).

Unconditional salvation is a pipe dream, but unconditional love that leads towards salvation is a dream come true; and may God help us to help more people understand the difference between the two.

#calvinism, #faith, #john-316, #love, #salvation, #unconditional-salvation