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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Seriously, Where Did You Read THAT?

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. This is the first thing: there is no place 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:

2Peter 3: 9 “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.” It says that God will burn up the earth and all its works, and that day will
come as a thief in the night.

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

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.

Two things delay the coming of the Lord. First, all His enemies have not yet been put
under His feet [See Acts 2:35; Heb. 10:12,13; Phil, 2:9-11; etc.], which is the purpose
of His ascent into Heaven.  Second, the Lord’s coming is delayed because 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: 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 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? What compels Him to judge the wicked? Who has
Him in a hammerlock that compels Him, against His will, to bring the awful wrath that
the Bible described upon the ungodly.

The objection is refuted by the plain statement of the Apostle Paul, writing to Jews
asks “what if God, willing to show his wrath” endured the wickedness of the world for
this purpose.  [Romans 9:22]  No Jew needed to be reminded that God is willing to
show His wrath; the question is rhetorical, for every Jew who believed Moses had
plenty of evidence that God is willing to do so. It isn’t because of squeamishness that
God delays the judgment of the world.

IV. This objection reveals a faintheartedness 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 faith comes by mental
manipulation] 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

Instead, we are called to rest in the knowledge that God is willing to bring the fires of
his wrath upon the ungodly: 

7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels,
8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord,
and from the glory of his power;
10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that
believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.   2Thess. 1

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meditation on Psalm 150 and Instruments.

It is a certain truth, Our Precious Heavenly Father, that nothing that has been created
can contain You. Not even the heavens in all their magnificence and glory are big
enough for You. Much less can any earthly temple contain You; and yet in a great
mystery You have chosen to make Yourself known to Your people and have promised
to dwell with them. Moses built a tent for You as You commanded; Solomon build a
temple, also as You commanded, but we know, as Solomon Himself said, that You do
not dwell in temples made with hands.

So, our Father in Heaven, how shall we keep Your commandment to “praise You in
Your sanctuary?” How shall we climb up to heaven to take the place of the Holy
Angels who sing Your praises at all times? Will heaven not be defiled with the
instruments of men’s hands, the brass, the wind, the percussion, and the strings?

Where is Your sanctuary? Where is Your Temple on earth. Moses’ tabernacle and
Solomon’s temple are gone forever, but You have said that the church is Your temple,
a temple made with living stone in which spiritual sacrifices are to be offered to You.
But You have given us physical bodies and we can only sing our praises in Your
temple in a spiritual way if we offer up our bodies to You.

So spiritual service means the full use of our bodies to praise You; everything that has
breath is to praise You, O heavenly Father, and all of our hearts, souls, mind, strength
are to be given up to You in spiritual worship in our bodies in the gathering of Your
people, which is the present location of Your tabernacle among men. Jesus Christ came
to make His tabernacle among us in His flesh, but He rose from the dead and ascended
into heaven in order to send forth His Holy Spirit to unite Jew and Gentile through the
doctrine of the apostles and prophets in order to grow a temple unto the Lord, a
habitation of God through His Spirit. Eph. 2:18-22.

May our poor bodies be true instruments for Your praises and glory, dear Lord. Not
just our mouths and lungs, but our whole minds with the instruments that Your gifts
have devised for us, to amplify our praises and make a joyful sound of the Gospel to
the whole world. 

May we not copy the world in its sordid and debased use of these instruments, but may
we use them in Your solemn assembly to render the kind of praise that glorifies You,
not the tinkling and jingling and rattling that speaks of frivolity and foolishness. We
have a profound and manifold theology that speaks the splendor and majesty of God,
and may the music of our bodies and souls reflect that magnificence.

May Your praises be heard on earth even as they are in heaven.
“1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his
power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent
greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and
harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments
and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding
cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the
LORD.” (Ps 150:1-6 AV)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Prayer and Meditation on Psalm 119:33-40 Number One

O precious Father, only You can teach me what Your commandments are all about. Until You do this
precious work in my heart, my obedience will at the best be only formal and external, for without 
Your teaching no one can serve You to the end, perseverance is a fruit of Your Spirit.

This teaching must be from Your grace alone, the gift of Your Spirit. So foolish am I, O 
Lord, that I deserve only darkness as judgment for my darkness and any light I receive must be by 
Your grace. Only Your gift of understanding can penetrate the heart and cause me to serve You with 
my whole heart.

You must be the cause of my going in the path of Your commandment. I only tread the path that You 
have trodden before me, O Precious Savior. You have suffered for me, leaving me an example of 
patience and endurance. When You are the cause of my obedience, then I will run gladly in the way.

You, alone, O Savior, can bend my heart to stretch out with desire and longing for Your 
commandments. This is not natural for me, O Lord, for we all seek our own ways and desire the 
things of the world and not the things of God. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride 
of life belong to us, O Lord, and we learn not to love these only if You teach us to love the things that 
are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God.

Hence, O precious Father, until You quicken me to live in Your way, I will love the world and my 
eyes and all my senses will be captive to sinful lusts, the vain things of the world. All is vanity that 
turns me away from You, O Lord, for an idol is nothing and brings to shame all those that follow it.

I pray O Lord that my heart would be established by Your grace, as You have promised, for Your 
kingdom is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is Your 
word that causes me to fear You, O Father, and causes me to be Your very own possession, devoted 
to Your fear, as the Apostle wrote: “Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar and special people, zealous of good works.” O that I 
might be made holy, devoted to Your fear.

Protect me, O Heavenly Father, from bringing reproach upon Your Name. Only You can put a guard 
upon my lips and prevent me from bring scandal to Your Name. The devil watches on every side to 
lay snares for my feet, and You alone can protect me from them. It is good for me to thus judge 
myself, for if we would judge ourselves we would not be judged.

I long, O Lord, after Your precepts. I see much darkness yet in me, much that has not been 
quickened. Teach me to put off the old and put on the new, that I might be renewed in the spirit of my 
mind, as You have promised. I have not so learned Christ; for I have heard of him and have been 
taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus. I long to put off concerning the former way of the old man, 
which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and I long to be renewed in the spirit of my mind as 
You have commanded and promised, Dear Father.

“33 ¶ HE. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me 
understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 ¶ Make me to 
go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy 
testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 ¶ Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken 
thou me in thy way. 38 ¶ Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. 39 ¶ dTurn 
away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. 40 ¶ Behold, I have longed after thy 
precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness. 41 ¶ VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, 
even thy salvation, according to thy word.” (Ps 119:33-41 AV)


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