A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, March 29, 2010


Does the doctrine of Total Depravity mean that there is nothing good in the Christian? To say that will be to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in the Christian. The Scriptures are very clear about it.

1. If a person is a child of God, then God has begun to work in his heart and mind to transform him, to make something good of him. The evil from Adam is not changed, but placed under condemnation, but a new nature in the image of Christ is implanted. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Php 1:6)

2. The old man is not annihilated, evaporated, or slain, except as far as the law is concerned. Because of the death of Christ sin no longer has the power to bring the Christian to hell, for He is a child of God and his sins are not imputed to him for condemnation. God deals with him as a father deals with his son, chastening, correcting, and discipling him.

3. This first work is known as regeneration, or the creating of new life. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” (Eph 2:1-2) Jesus put it this way: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.”

4. Because of this newness in Christ, it is possible for a person to begin to be fruitful in good works, in good thoughts, in good morals. This why Paul prays: “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Col 1:9-10) These good works are not, and cannot be the ground of the man's acceptance with God, but are the fruit of that acceptance.

5. This is so critical to the Gospel that it is one side of the seal of God to the very foundation of the Gospel. One side is the hidden knowledge of God concerning the elect; the other side is the necessity of those who are called Christians to depart from iniquity: “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2Ti 2:19)

6. And so, the Scripture tells us in this same place: “If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” (2Ti 2:21) A man can and must become fit of the master’s use, prepared unto every good work if he is to call himself a Christian.

7. For a person to say that Christians cannot do or think truly good things is to deny the power of God. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Tit 1:16) People deny the Lord, not only in their words, but also in their deeds.

8. A good minister will exhort and plead with the people to live holy and godly lives, putting away the deeds of the flesh, the hating, the backbiting, the gossip, and other forms of hatred and evil. Only those who walk in the flesh will object to this.

“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb 13:20-21)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It Is Not in the Bible

One of the main objections raised against the clear biblical doctrine of predestination goes something like this, “but the Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Before you read any farther, you should read 2Peter 3:1-10. You will not find that quotation in that passage or anywhere else in the Bible.

I. In the first place, there is nowhere in the Bible that it says that “God is not willing that any should perish.”The complete passage that this is lifted from says the exact opposite of what the anti-predestination crowd would say.

It is unnecessary perhaps to say it to Christians, but we must remember that the Bible trumps any human emotion, desire, will, or wish. We cannot presume to know more than God and elevate our internal desires or dreams to contradict the Scriptures. God is good to the unjust and to the ungodly, but this only ripens them for judgment, as Romans 2 says. The goodness of God is designed to lead men to repentance and serves to reveal the hardness of their hearts and the justness of God’s wrath against them.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

The “promise” is the promise of the second coming of the Lord. See 2Pet 3:1 Scoffers mock at the promise, but the Lord gives the reason why He has not come yet: “He is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

He has not come because all of us have not been saved yet. It is not because he is not willing that any whatsoever perish. If that were true He would have come hundreds of years ago, for far more have been born and died in unbelief than have turned to Christ. If Christ is unwilling that people perish, He should come immediately for thousands of unbelievers are being born every day. In fact, He would not have created the world at all, for He surely knew of the millions and millions that would descend into hell even before the Lord Jesus came.

The only thing that has delayed the coming of the Lord is that the full total of the elect of God has not yet been made up. When that happens, Christ will come as a thief in the night, and will be very willing to bring vengeance upon His enemies.

Because it is impossible to know the exact number of the elect of God, Jesus could come at any moment, when the fullness of His church is complete.

II. In the second place, This objection is foolish on the face of it, for God is certainly willing that the ungodly perish. Please note the following:

Ps 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup.

Rev. 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

2Thess 1: And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Re 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

III. Third, the objection is silly on another level. If God is unwilling that any sinners perish, then why do they perish? Who has Him in a hammerlock that compels Him, against His will, to bring the awful wrath that the Bible described upon the ungodly.

This objection reveals a faint-heartedness and timid state of mind. I suspect that there are those who are afraid people will not believe if they are told the truth about God, that He will in flaming fire take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. To convince people to believe [under the illusion that they can do such a thing by human manipulation. We are proclaimers not manipulators] they present a false view of God, ashamed of the God they claim to serve, and so become false prophets. Instead of proclaimers of the word they become little more than salesmen, minimizing the defects of their product in order to make the sale, hoping that the customer will not catch on that they misrepresented their product.


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