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.