The Devil, As a Roaring Lion

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith…. —1 Peter 5:8

In 1898, a railroad spanning the Great Rift Valley from Kenya to Uganda was under construction. There were thousands of people involved in the construction and there were many campsites. Workers began disappearing and it was soon discovered that there were two man-eating Tsavo lions in the area. These lions wreaked havoc for nine months, killing many people and instilling fear in thousands of workers. The lions would hit different camps stretched along the railway to kill and maim. Traps were set but to no avail. The workers made thorn hedges around the camp and lit fires to scare them off, but the lions aggressively leaped over or crawled through the thorn fences. They would seize men from their tents and drag them out into the bush where they were heard at times crunching bones and purring contentedly. Imagine the fear of walking in the darkness, knowing that a man-eating lion was hiding in the bush nearby.Read more

There Is a Rest

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered
into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. —Hebrews 4:9-11

The subject this quarter deals with the theological issue of eternal security or “once saved always saved.” The doctrine of eternal security is one of the primary tenants of Calvinism. The opposite perspective would be one of Arminianism. These two theological camps are divided on God’s sovereignty, man’s depravity, election, Christ’s atonement, grace, man’s will, and perseverance. These subjects are interwoven as one affects the other. Rather than detail all of the various interpretations of scripture, because of the space constraint, I had to deal very directly with the scripture in a brief summary. While I believe Arminianism is generally more correct than Calvinism, our guide should be the scripture, not the teaching of a certain theological persuasion. Often there are bits of truth on both sides that can be neglected by a theologian’s pursuit of drawing a distinction between the two.Read more

Eternal Security – Bible Study

Scripture Reading: Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
—Hebrews 10:38-39

Definition: Eternal security [referred to as the “perseverance of the saints” in Calvinist theology, or commonly known as “once saved always saved”] is variously interpreted. In essence, it is a teaching which asserts that once a person is truly regenerated or born again there is nothing that can cause a reversal of the converted condition. This doctrine purports that once a person has accepted Christ and been saved, God will preserve the individual and his salvation is eternally secure without possibility of losing that salvation.

Summary: An individual’s salvation is exclusively by the grace of God and is not based on works. God will be faithful to preserve that individual by His grace which enables a life of holiness. Salvation is a covenant relationship of faith; so if an individual chooses to swerve from that faith and commitment to God, the relationship is broken and salvation is forfeited. Hence, while eternal security or “once saved always saved” is a theological fallacy, a believer can rest in God’s grace and be eternally secure as he follows Christ in faith.Read more

Fallacies in the Doctrine of Eternal Security

Major divisions exist in Christian circles over the doctrine of eternal security. Once a person has accepted Christ, is it possible to lose that
salvation or is salvation eternally secure in spite of committed sin?
Plan of Salvation

The questions about eternal security are many and the answers affect a myriad of theological issues. While the divide is great among theologians and there are scriptures used to support radically different perspectives, the scriptures do not teach opposing doctrines. The Bible in its entirety presents a beautiful plan of a covenant relationship of faith between God and man. God will stand by His Word and be faithful to His children, but for the relationship to be complete, His children must continue in their choice to follow Christ regardless of the cost. A believer continues to have the power of choice to step outside of faith and follow after a life of sin. In so doing, the believer forfeits the work and benefits of salvation by personal decision.Read more

Restoration to Salvation

According to Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-29, is it possible for an individual who has been saved and then departs from his faith in a life of sin to be restored to salvation?

A resounding YES! It is possible for a backslider to be saved. Foundational to the gospel is the message of God’s great love for mankind and the hope of restoration through the blood of Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The Lord does not will that anyone lose his eternal soul; hence, He works through the convicting power of His Spirit to draw all men to Himself. The invitation given in Revelation 22:17, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” extends even to the backslider. The Old Testament repeatedly reveals God’s nature of forgiveness and willingness for the restoration of fallen Israel. While there is grace to live a victorious Christian life, if someone loses his salvation because of sin, hope is not gone if there is a willingness to repent and obey the Lord. Restoration is offered to ALL people.

Read more

Theology Statistics

77% of all Americans believe that personal salvation is a result of good works.
52% say good deeds help earn a spot in heaven.
60% believe that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice which
can remove the penalty of sin.
The State of American Theology, LifeWay Research, 2016

65% of all “Christians” believe there are multiple paths to Heaven.
U.S. Religious Landscape Study, Pew Research Center, 2014

The Minister’s Wife

Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. —1 Samuel 25:41b
Abigail’s above response to David’s marriage proposal demonstrated a willingness to serve in humble places, even in washing the feet of the servants. There are many ministers’ wives who are daily living out Abigail’s expression. They quietly work without pay or recognition while serving the people around them. The life of a minister’s wife has a unique set of challenges and she should be honored and respected for her life of sacrificial service. Minister’s wives fill a unique role in the body of Christ and are to be valued.

Read more

Financial Stewardship

The Bible addresses the topic of money, possessions, and associated attitudes more than any other subject in the Scripture. There are more than 2000 verses on this theme as it pertains to our financial and spiritual lives.

The use of money and possessions are a needful part of daily living and are important to fulfilling the commission of God’s Word to care for family, help the poor, and even to spread the gospel. Due to the integral role of financial matters in life, God in His infinite wisdom gave fixed doctrinal parameters for the Christian to follow in addition to giving sound financial principles upon which to operate. The state of one’s finances greatly affects the mind and emotions which in turn affect the spiritual; hence, it is imperative for Christians to have a biblical perspective of money to more effectively walk daily with God.Read more

Poverty Theology vs. Prosperity Theology

Poverty theology and prosperity theology are two opposing financial models which have been promoted in the religious world. These contrary theologies are supported by numerous scriptures which have been taken out of context and balance with the entire Word of God.Read more

Stewardship

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
—Proverbs 27:23b

The subject this quarter is on biblical financial stewardship. I stand in awe at the amount of information on the subject that is contained in God’s Word. It was a challenge to reduce such a large subject into this small forum. Stewardship is taught too little among God’s people and there has been a price to pay in marriages and in the gospel work due to mismanagement and poor stewardship.Read more