Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year's resolution Dr. Barnhouse style!

I found this New Year's resolution while reading an article by Ray Stedman "Ishmael Must Go."  May we ALL benefit from the widom of it.

"I recall reading an article about Dr. Barnhouse and was struck by evidences of this very choice in his experience. He said, "Early in my ministry, I had the idea that I must strike out against all error wherever I saw it. I hit Christian Science, Unitarianism, Romanism, and if error was in some fundamental leader with whom I was in 95% agreement, I swung hard at the 5%." This made Dr. Barnhouse a highly controversial figure, often unmercifully sharp and dogmatic. This zeal for truth within him became an Ishmael in his life. Then he tells how there came a time when the Spirit of God taught him to love and he faced the choice -- Ishmael had to go. He had to learn to be more understanding and more tolerant of some of the variant views of others. He wrote, "Some time ago, I published a New Year's resolution expressing regret that I had had differences with men who are truly born again. The results of that resolution were astounding. In the years which followed its publication, my ministry has been transformed. I need to know all who have been redeemed by Christ, for I will never know my Lord fully until I see him in every individual whom he has redeemed and saved by the outpouring of his life for us all upon the cross. This," he says, "is true fellowship." It was wonderful to see in the life of Dr. Barnhouse the removal of an Ishmael. The closing years of his life show much of his mellowing and of the sweetness of the fruit of the Spirit in one who before had been so harsh, critical, and demanding."


Friday, December 23, 2011

The Lamb of God

"Mary Did You Know"

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know  that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?

This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His hand?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little Baby you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know.. Ooo Ooo Ooo
The blind will see.
The deaf will hear.
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap.
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you're holding is the Great, I Am.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Letter to a Hurting Friend at Christmas

Dear Pam,

I have found the only way to deal with the pain of loneliness (when it crops up unexpectedly), is to embrace someone who is hurting. It works, too! I think all of us have at one time or another been left for dead, by a dear loved one in our lives. People will disappear from our lives for various reasons; some will die, some will get mad, hurt, and offended, and not have the capacity to forgive and forget and move on. While other loved ones will become so estranged from us, that we wouldn’t even recognize them if they walked right past us on the street.

The sad fact is, when things like this happen, as they so often do, is that WE become the dead among the living. We become the walking dead, BUT, only if we choose to die. Life should be all about renewal. I learned about death and renewal by growing tulips. I so wanted to prune and cut off the brown, lifeless, stems and leaves, when the last red petals of spring gave up their life among the flowerbeds. I saw how lifeless, ugly, and withered the green had become, and hated to see it shrivel and die, but then I realized that the old, decaying matter; did matter. It mattered more then I knew. For without this dead and decaying fertilizer, the bulbs far below the ground would not be nourished and come to fruition in the spring.

When someone dies, we say farewell my beloved, we say I loved you more than life itself, but NOT to the point of my death. I must live to tell someone about the tulips, to tell them that spring is just around the corner for them, that life will once again bloom and be green, red, yellow, and pink. I need to find someone new to hug, someone new who is hurting, so that once again I can feel useful and alive, and most importantly of all; to pay it forward, Your words, Pam, PAY IT FORWARD!!!!!

I feel your pain, Pam. I’ve been there, too. My love and thoughts are with you in this time of sadness and grief. I love your dear heart!



Monday, November 21, 2011

"What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus?"

What do you think about this statement ?... Agree? Disagree?

If we assume that those who never hear the gospel are granted mercy from God, we will run into a terrible problem. If people who never hear the gospel are saved, it is logical that we should make sure no one ever hears the gospel. The worst thing we could do would be to share the gospel with a person and have him or her reject it. If that were to happen, he or she would be condemned. People who do not hear the gospel must be condemned, or else there is no motivation for evangelism. Why run the risk of people possibly rejecting the gospel and condemning themselves when they were previously saved because they had never heard the gospel?

All people are accountable to God whether or not they have “heard about Him.” The Bible tells us that God has clearly revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The problem is that the human race is sinful; we all reject this knowledge of God and rebel against Him (Romans 1:21-23). If it were not for God's grace, we would be given over to the sinful desires of our hearts, allowing us to discover how useless and miserable life is apart from Him. He does this for those who continually reject Him (Romans 1:24-32).

In reality, it is not that some people have not heard about God. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29 proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches an important principle—everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him. If a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.

The problem is “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). People reject the knowledge of God that is present in nature and in their own hearts, and instead decide to worship a “god” of their own creation. It is foolish to debate the fairness of God sending someone to hell who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ. People are responsible to God for what God has already revealed to them. The Bible says that people reject this knowledge, and therefore God is just in condemning them to hell.

Instead of debating the fate of those who have never heard, we, as Christians, should be doing our best to make sure they do hear. We are called to spread the gospel throughout the nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We know people reject the knowledge of God revealed in nature, and that must motivate us to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Only by accepting God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ can people be saved from their sins and rescued from an eternity apart from God.

(Shared from Got Questions. org)

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Value of Discernment Ministries

I just saw a picture of the Tsunami flotsam from Japan that is floating toward Hawaii, and is estimated to reach our soil in about three years. And we know for a fact that much of this debris is contaminated with radioactive waste.

Things like boats, fragments of houses, refrigerators, cars and all sorts of broken and busted up treasures and dreams, are in a soup swirling about the ocean, just waiting to settle in some unsuspecting, pristine cove, or on one of our beautiful, sun-kissed beaches.

We’re alarmed, and we should be! Who, in their right way of thinking, wants this trash to contaminate, infiltrate, and permeate what we believe are our almost sacred, unsullied shores? This, is a newly defined Tsunami. One that is not like anything we have ever witnessed before. It is a mass of shards, junk and twisted debris, and it is coming our way soon.

Well, we have many choices to make. We can sound the alarm of impending doom, and look for solutions to our problems. We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend that all is well with the world. Or we can wait out the impending doom, and stand watch with the bucket brigade to do a very costly clean up.

I believe good, solid discernment ministries, work out the first scenario in the best way possible. They are pro-active, anticipatory, and always forward thinking. Their antenna are up; their senses are heightened; they're looking for the worst possible scenario, for the best reasons possible; so that the Tsunami will not totally deconstruct our way of life and worship, and pollute the sterling, spotless, and pure Word of God. What is the old adage? “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

There is nothing wrong with being a first-rate Chicken Little. The sky IS falling. There ARE wolves in sheep’s clothing. The trash and off scouring of life are looking to rob, steal and pollute. So, what’s new? What IS new, is if you are not made aware of, alerted to the dangers, and acutely discerning when it comes to false teachers, you may become the twisted, sordid, grossly convoluted debris (news flash!), or be broad-sided by someone’s front porch that has been floating around in the cesspool of the latest storm.

Ministries like Pyromaniacs, Sola Sisters and Apprising Ministries; just to name a paltry few, do a pretty fair job in sorting out the trash. So hopefully we can all sit back, hang up our rakes, shovels and buckets and enjoy their fruit. But, let’s not rest in their laurels too eagerly, and be watchmen ourselves, studying the Scriptures to discern the precarious times we live in. And be able to cry foul for ourselves, if perchance Chicken Little is busy with yet another impending Tsunami.

Lately, we can all attest to the fact that there has been a deluge of this false teacher and that false teacher. It is *absolutely* overwhelming. There is ONE Tsunami after ANOTHER in Christendom; they are increasing like birth pains. But let’s not be lax or wore down by attrition because the minions from the pit are on the march and increase, this is all the MORE reason to sound the alarm with greater diligence.

We live on the very BRINK of eternity, and LOVING someone means never to having say you’re sorry. Tell someone you love, about Jesus, and warn them of this new radioactive flotsam coming their way. It may just make their day, not to mention their eternity.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Total Sovereignty of God by RC Sproul

Problematic Analogies and Prayerful Adoration by Carl Trueman

Ask any children’s Sunday school teacher what the most difficult thing to teach is and he will almost certainly tell you: “The doctrine of the Trinity, that God is one but exists in three persons.” Ask them how they do it and you will probably find them outlining an analogy: “God is like water, ice, and steam” is one of the more popular.

The problem with such an analogy — indeed, with any analogy — for the Trinity is that it is actually more misleading than helpful. What it describes is not really something akin to the biblical Trinity but rather to the ancient heresy of modalism. The detailed problems of this heresy, which sees God as one and as turning from Father into Son and then into Holy Spirit, need not delay us here. My point is that analogies for the Trinity are unhelpful because the Trinity is absolutely unique. There is no analogy to the created world that is more helpful than it is misleading.

Another area where Christians are wont to use analogies is that of the incarnation. Here the analogies often flow the other way: the created realm is not used to explain the incarnation so much as the incarnation is used to explain some aspect of the creation. Thus, some have argued for an incarnational analogy as a means of understanding how the divine and the human relate to each other in the doctrine of Scripture, given that the Bible has both human and divine authors. There is no monopoly by one party in the church. Liberals have used this notion; but so did the orthodox Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck. Others have used the analogy to explain the relationship of Christ to culture. Still others have used it as a means of explaining how the eternal God works in the flux of history through providence.

There are theological arguments pro and con for these various uses of the incarnational analogy, and I will not rehearse them here. I want rather to make a simple point relating to these analogies from the perspective of the church’s praise: the Trinity and the incarnation are unique, and that is why the church had to develop particular and precise means of articulating them. We should also remember the dynamic that drove the debates that led to these formulations: Christian worship. The early church needed to know what she meant when she declared: “Jesus is Lord.” and why she baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If analogies therefore serve to reduce the uniqueness of God and the incarnation, they will eventually shape the church culture in ways that impact our worship. Whatever the problems with popular uses of theological analogies, the key practical issue is the way such watering down of uniqueness will also water down the church’s praise.
Vital to worship is the acknowledgment of the vast difference that exists between God and His human creatures. Part of that difference is the fact that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is, while we are creatures and sustained in our being by God. Part of it is moral: He is holy, but we are sinful. Part of it has to do with salvation: He is the gracious Savior, and we are vessels of grace. In all three categories, mystery and incomprehensibility provide the backdrop to His action in history.

The doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation guard that mystery because they state biblical truth in a way that is not reducible to the categories of our finite minds. The result of that for the Christian is surely not to be confusion but adoration. The failure of our intellects to penetrate these mysteries is vital to our Christian lives because that very failure is what drives us to our knees in gasps of adoration, praise, and wonder.

My conviction is that analogies blunt this. By reducing the distance between creation and God, they somehow make Him more manageable, more amenable to our ways of thinking, and thus take some of the urgent spiritual hunger away from our praise and adoration. This is not to argue for fideism, to say that the more mystical our faith, the greater our praise. But it is to say that there is an appropriate place for mystery and uniqueness that must be maintained if our worship is to be truly Christian. The task of the teacher is not to explain the Trinity or incarnation, or reduce them to creaturely categories; it is rather to point to the splendor of the same as a means of provoking awe and wonder in the congregation.

When we talk of God, we should remember we walk on holy ground. We can go only so far before we have to stop and fall on our faces in adoration. As Gregory Nazianzus, an early church father, said of God as Trinity: “Every time I think of the One, my mind is drawn to the Three; yet every time I think of the Three, my mind is drawn to the One.” He could not explain the Trinity; he could simply worship and adore the Three in One and the One in Three. The mystery, the boundary of incomprehensibility, was to him a reminder that he was not God. The maintenance of such a boundary is crucial. Let us not allow any attempt to communicate the faith to become by accident a means for domesticating the faith.

Friday, October 21, 2011

End of the World

Question: "What does the Bible say about the end of the world?"

Answer: The event usually referred to by the phrase “end of the world” is described in 2 Peter 3:10: “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” This is the culmination of the events referred to in the beginning of that verse as “the day of the Lord,” the time when God will intervene in human history for the purpose of judgment. At that time, all that God has created, “the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), He will destroy.

The timing of this event, according to most Bible scholars, is at the end of the 1000-year period called the millennium. During these thousand years, Christ will reign on earth as King in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33) and ruling in peace but with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15). At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). At this point, the end of the world described in 2 Peter 3:10 occurs. The Bible tells us several things about this event.

First, it will be cataclysmic in scope. The “heavens” refers to the physical universe – the stars, planets, and galaxies—which will be consumed by some kind of tremendous explosion, possibly a nuclear or atomic reaction that will consume and obliterate all matter as we know it. All the elements that make up the universe will be melted in the “fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12). This will also be a noisy event, described in different Bible versions as a “roar” (NIV), a “great noise” (KJV), a “loud noise” (CEV), and a “thunderous crash” (AMP). There will be no doubt as to what is happening. Everyone will see and hear it because we are also told that “the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

Then God will create a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), which will include the “New Jerusalem” (v. 2), the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness, which will come down from heaven and descend to the new earth. This is the city where the saints—those whose names were written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 13:8)—will live forever. Peter refers to it as “the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

Perhaps the most important part of Peter’s description of that day is his question in verses 11-12: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” For Christians, this means we should live our lives in such a way that we reflect our understanding of what is going to happen. This life is passing away quickly, and our focus should be on the new heavens and earth to come. Our “holy and godly” lives should be a testimony to those who do not know the Savior, and we should be telling others about Him so they can escape the terrible fate that awaits those who reject Him. We wait in eager anticipation for God’s “Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

Got Question Ministries

Monday, October 3, 2011

False Prophets

Anyone coming here from Justin Taylor's blog, here is my final comment that did not make it in before he closed the thread down. 

The false teachers who have an extra WORD of knowledge (who do not speak for God), are surreptitiously drawing people slowly away from God’s revealed Word. It is more attractive, ear tickling, and flattering for us to hear something personally spoken about US, directly to US, that has been breathed-out by the very mouth of some self-appointed prophet. It gives these false prophets that Midas touch persona, that everything they say or do has that special je ne sais quoi, that intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive to others. And it holds the very words of God in complete contempt. Making their words on an even par with God’s Word.

Oh, dear friends, I warn of the susceptibility of the artifices of satan, who would lead you here or there, and tell you that this and that false Christ speaks new revelations. That their words are matched in purity, matched in unassailability, matched in worthiness, matched in solemnity, matched in holiness, and above all matched infallibly. After all, these descriptive words are the very words used to express the only words that have any real value to our souls, and they belong to the Triune, holy God, who is incapable of a lie.

Ask yourselves, do you believe the words spoken in vain by unfit diviners are A MORE SURE WORD, fitly spoken directly into the very real circumstances and bogs of your every day lives, and will they sanctify you, will they cleanse you from all unrighteousness, and inspire you to holy living? if not, if they do not stand the test of purity, throw the secondhand, artificially-spoken-jargon, to the dogs.

Friday, June 10, 2011

"What is the proper way to pray?"

"Is it best to pray standing up, sitting down, kneeling, or bowing down? Should our hands be open, closed, or lifted up to God? Do our eyes need to be closed when we pray? Is it better to pray in a church building or out in nature? Should we pray in the morning when we get up or at night before we go to bed? Are there certain words we need to say in our prayers? How do we begin our prayers? What is the proper way to close a prayer? These questions, and others, are common questions asked about prayer. What is the proper way to pray? Do any of the above things even matter?

Far too often, prayer is viewed as a “magic formula.” Some believe that if we do not say exactly the right things, or pray in the right position, God will not hear and answer our prayer. This is completely unbiblical. God does not answer our prayers based on when we pray, where we are, what position our body is in, or in what order we word our prayers. We are told in 1 John 5:14-15 to have confidence when we come to God in prayer, knowing He hears us and will grant whatever we ask as long as it is in His will. Similarly, John 14:13-14 declares, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” According to these and many other Scriptures, God answers prayer requests based on whether they are asked according to His will and in the name of Jesus (to bring glory to Jesus).

So, what is the proper way to pray? Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to pray without being anxious, to pray about everything, and to pray with thankful hearts. God will answer all such prayers with the gift of His peace in our hearts. The proper way to pray is to pour out our hearts to God, being honest and open with God, as He already knows us better than we know ourselves. We are to present our requests to God, keeping in mind that God knows what is best and will not grant a request that is not His will for us. We are to express our love, gratitude, and worship to God in prayer without worrying about having just the right words to say. God is more interested in the content of our hearts than the eloquence of our words.

The closest the Bible comes to giving a “pattern” for prayer is the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Please understand that the Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer we are to memorize and recite to God. It is an example of the things that should go into a prayer—worship, trust in God, requests, confession, and submission. We are to pray for the things the Lord’s Prayer talks about, using our own words and “customizing” it to our own journey with God. The proper way to pray is to express our hearts to God. Sitting, standing, or kneeling; hands open or closed; eyes opened or closed; in a church, at home, or outside; in the morning or at night—these are all side issues, subject to personal preference, conviction, and appropriateness. God’s desire is for prayer to be a real and personal connection between Himself and us."

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Friday, May 27, 2011

"Why did God choose Israel to be His chosen people?"

"Why did God choose Israel to be His chosen people?"

Speaking of the nation of Israel, Deuteronomy 7:7-9 tells us, “The LORD did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commands.”

God chose the nation of Israel to be the people through whom Jesus Christ would be born—the Savior from sin and death (John 3:16). God first promised the Messiah after Adam and Eve’s fall into sin (Genesis chapter 3). God later confirmed that the Messiah would come from the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3). Jesus Christ is the ultimate reason why God chose Israel to be His special people. God did not need to have a chosen people, but He decided to do it that way. Jesus had to come from some nation of people, and God chose Israel.

However, God’s reason for choosing the nation of Israel was not solely for the purpose of producing the Messiah. God’s desire for Israel was that they would go and teach others about Him. Israel was to be a nation of priests, prophets, and missionaries to the world. God’s intent was for Israel to be a distinct people, a nation who pointed others towards God and His promised provision of a Redeemer, Messiah, and Savior. For the most part, Israel failed in this task. However, God’s ultimate purpose for Israel—that of bringing the Messiah into the world—was fulfilled perfectly in the Person of Jesus Christ.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

How To Recognize False Teachers

Question: "How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?" (Like Harold Camping)

Answer: Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect (Matthew 24:23-27; see also 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 17-18). The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.

Jesus said “a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). When looking for “fruit,” here are three specific tests to apply to any teacher to determine the accuracy of his or her teaching:

1) What does this teacher say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15-16, Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and for this answer Peter is called “blessed.” In 2 John 9, we read, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In other words, Jesus Christ and His work of redemption is of utmost importance; beware of anyone who denies that Jesus is equal with God, who downplays Jesus’ sacrificial death, or who rejects Jesus’ humanity. First John 2:22 says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.”

2) Does this teacher preach the gospel? The gospel is defined as the good news concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As nice as they sound, the statements “God loves you,” “God wants us to feed the hungry,” and “God wants you to be wealthy” are not the complete message of the gospel. As Paul warns in Galatians 1:7, “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” No one, not even a great preacher, has the right to change the message that God gave us. “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:9).

3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord? Speaking of false teachers, Jude 11 says, “They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” In other words, a false teacher can be known by his pride (Cain’s rejection of God’s plan), greed (Balaam’s prophesying for money), and rebellion (Korah’s promotion of himself over Moses). Jesus said to beware of such people and that we would know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

For further study, review those books of the Bible that were written specifically to combat false teaching within the church: Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Jude. It is often difficult to spot a false teacher/false prophet. Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and his ministers masquerade as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). Only by being thoroughly familiar with the truth will we be able to recognize a counterfeit.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Righteous Shall Live By His Faith

Habakkuk 2:4, "Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith."

The Lord is emphasizing that there are two kinds of people. The proud ("puffed up"), who are wicked and unjust ("not upright"), in contrast to the humble who are faithful and just (righteous"), before God. Pride looks to self while true faith looks outside of self unto God. The proud are not justified before the Lord and thus perish while the faithful and humble are justified thus are gifted salvation.

These Words of the Lord gave Habukkuk comfort while struggling with the Lord's use of the Babylonians to punish His people. That God had not abandoned them but rather was teaching His people the only way they could live an obedient righteous life and not perish like the prideful, selfish, and wicked do, was by focusing on things in heaven above and keeping a steadfast faith and love unto God their Creator, Savior and Lord.

Habukkuk 2:4 is such an important message from God that it is reemphasized in similar ways three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:17;Hebrews 10:38;Galatians 3:7).

God's Freedom to Choose

I wrote this piece for a blog that I post at, and thought maybe I should post it here, since I haven't posted anything in quite a while. 

It helps explain why God has mercy on whom He has mercy, and that He does NOT look down the corridor of time to see who will believe in order to make their so-called free will choice.

God is the only one who has perfect free will. Which means there is no outside force, or other sovereign, who constrains God to act one way or another. If there were, that force or entity would be sovereign and God would not be God. God acts most freely in all that He does because there is no other sovereign to impede, hinder, obstruct, change, influence or thwart His choices/purposes.

On the other hand, man does have constraints, limitations and restrictions on him: his will is not free but captive, captive to the FLESH, the WORLD, and the DEVIL. Free will is a myth. Man does not have it because of these overpowering constraints, and is only free to act according to the easy sinful nature that he was born with. The flesh, the world, and the devil cause man’s will to be in TOTAL BONDAGE to all that is evil, and leaves the will captive, bound, and totally incapable of choosing the good that would set it free. These forces are so powerful and strong, causing man to be at enmity with God, and can only be overcome by God’s powerful intervention, not the weak and sinful will of man. Can a Leopard change his own spots?

So, to my main point: when God elects a person, He acts most freely according to the good pleasure of His will, and His choices are not based on anything good or bad in the individual person, or any foreseen faith the person may display in the future. God’s electing grace is solely based on His good pleasure, His love, His freedom to choose, and ultimately for the glory of His name. (There are of course other factors, as well).

If God based His choices on the actions of men, whether their actions were good, bad or the fact that He saw future faith in them, then God’s choices would not be free. His choices would be conditioned on something outside of Himself, something found in man. This destroys God’s freedom to act as He so pleases. God does not condition His free will choices on anything external to Himself. There are no constraints put on God to choose one way or another. THIS IS FREEDOM--- and only God can possess true freedom.

“For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth (Rom 9:11).”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

♥♥ Happiest Penguin Ever ♥♥

Can't you just hear this little guy saying, "Come on you stuffed suits, shake a leg."