Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Living for Jesus

When I Look At The Wicked (Psalm 10)

I am surrounded by unbelievers.  At my work, I am the only Christian that I know of.  I hope I am wrong (Romans 11:4).  The men that I work with are greedy, lustful, vile, cursing, blasphemous, and full of hatred.  They can be nice at times and I enjoy working with them but they are not disciples of Jesus at all.  While they would not claim to hate God with their mouths, they hate Him with their lives. They are what Stephen Charnock described as “practical atheists” who live their lives without every thinking about God though they know that they will face Him when they die (Hebrews 9:27).

In our society, it seems the sinful and wicked are living it up.  It is easy to look around and see the blasphemous walking around, living their lives to the fullest, and never considering God.  Their lives are full of sin, of their own desires, of seeking pleasure.  They do everything with an eye on themselves.  Even when disaster strikes and they seek to do just a little good toward other humans, their efforts are tainted by their own pride and self-glorification.  They do want to honor God nor give thought to Him just as Romans 1:21 reads.

And yet the wicked seem to live comfortable lives while the righteous struggle.  In fact, I have personally known people who claimed Christ and have abandoned faith in Him because it seemed their life with Christ was without joy and full of misery.  They saw the wicked prospering and that the wicked were having fun in this life and they wanted that.  They abandoned faith in Christ for the sins of this world.  They know 2 Peter 2:20-22 but they would rather have a little fun, enjoy the sinful pleasures of this life than to focus on eternity.  Like Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10, they love this present world.

Psalm 10 speaks to us who are seeking righteousness.  Psalm 10 is perfect for our day because how often have I also looked at the wicked and it seemed they were living carefree, fun, amazing, joyful lives that was full of sin.  I read 2 Timothy 3:1-5 and the wicked I see are fulfilling this but yet their lives are not marked by any suffering, no judgment, and they seemed to not have a care in this world.  Like Psalm 10:4, they seem to have no thought about God at all.  God is the last thing on their minds (or so it seems).

When the righteous focus in on the wicked, we do just what the psalmist does in Psalm 10:1-11 and we see the carefree lives of the wicked and we are discouraged.  How can the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer?  How can this vile person who curses the name of the Lord live such a joyful life?  The wicked around us live their lives just as Psalm 10:11 states.  They think God will not see nor judge them and if there is a God, He will love them and let them into His eternal bliss simply because they are human and He knows this.

Yet for the righteous, we continue in Psalm 10 down to verses 12-18 and here we finally see the end of the wicked.  The judgment of God will come.  The wicked will perish.  Obviously, I don’t want them to perish in their sins.  I want the wicked to repent as does the Lord (Ezekiel 18:30-32; 2 Peter 3:9).  God has sent His one and only Son to die for our sins and all can repent or perish (Acts 17:30-31).  The wicked needs to see the goodness of God in letting them live in spite of their sins (Romans 2:4).  The will of God is for the wicked to repent and embrace the Lord Jesus as their only hope for salvation from their sins (1 Timothy 2:4-6).  Psalm 10:12-18 shows that the Lord will vindicate His children.  God will show Himself strong in the end.  The wicked are allowed to continue in their sins for now but a time will come when they will either die or the world will end but either way, they will not find joy forever.  The wicked will suffer God’s righteous judgment (Psalm 10:16-18).

I rejoice that I am washed in the blood of Jesus.  The blood alone is my answer for my sins (Ephesians 1:7).  Jesus bore my sins on the cross and He is my Lord and Savior.  I want the wicked to know this.  I want the wicked to repent and turn from their sins (Luke 13:5).  The wicked falsely believe that they have joy.  Acts 3:19-20 promises us true joy when we repent.  The joy for the disciple of Christ comes from the Holy Spirit who lives in us (Galatians 5:22-23) and this joy is not based on circumstances or upon how people treat us.  Our joy, the joy of knowing Christ, the joy of having Him abide in us, the joy of knowing that we will see Him face to face and stand in awe of His glory when we die – this joy is not based on this world.  This joy cannot be taken from us by what happens to us.  Our joy is found in Jesus and we delight in knowing, loving, worshiping, and serving Him.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/21/2013 at 10:10 AM

Does Your Life Reveal that Jesus is Lord?

Recently Dr. Michael Brown asked the question, “If I could spend the next 30 days in your church, would I find your church a praying church?”  I turn that question now and ask both myself and you my reader, if I could spend the next 30 days with you constantly, would your life (or my own) be a life of obedience to Jesus as Lord?  Would your life be a life of prayer?  Of studying the Word of God?  Would I find you sharing your faith with the lost?  Would I notice that you take your money and give much to the poor and to missions?  Or would your life reveal a shallow Christianity?  A “faith” that is only seen when you go to church?  Would your life be full of sin from ungodly movies or watching things on the Internet you know you wouldn’t if someone was sitting right there with you (which there is in the case of our omnipresent God)?  Would your marriage and the raising of your children reflect a deep desire for Jesus and His kingdom to come?  Would others characterize you as a godly man or woman?

I know these are hard questions but I ask them of myself as well.  I want to be a man of God.  I want to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Jesus saved me from sin and its power (Romans 6:1-4) and I don’t want to be a slave of sin anymore (Romans 6:11-23).  I don’t want to sow to my flesh and reap death (Romans 8:12-13; Galatians 6:7-9).  I am not so foolish as to think that I too can’t give in to my flesh (1 Corinthians 10:1-12) and I am also not too foolish to understand that Satan can deceive us (2 Corinthians 11:3).  I don’t want to be bewitched (Galatians 3:1-5).  I want my life to reflect a deep passion for Christ and His kingdom.  I want to burdened in prayer for the lost, for my family, for the glory of God.  I want to hide His Word in my heart (Psalm 119:11).  I want to be His disciple (John 8:31-32).  I want to love Jesus above all else (Luke 14:25-35).  I want to avoid this world (1 John 2:15-17).  Let it be said of me that I am a friend of God (James 4:4).

I am thankful for the grace of God.  He is merciful toward us in His Son and He forgives our sins (1 John 1:9).  Yet I don’t want to abuse His grace (Jude 4) nor do I want to trample the precious blood of Christ through my sinning (Hebrews 10:26-31).  I want to be like Jesus in every way possible (Matthew 5:48; 1 John 2:6).  I praise God that He saves us by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not by our works (Titus 3:5-7) but I want to glorify Him in all that I say or do (Colossians 3:17).  His love motives me this way (John 14:15).  His Spirit convicts me and leads me to want to be more like Jesus (John 16:7-11).

I pray this is true of you as well.  May we hunger to be like Jesus in everything we do!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/07/2013 at 11:50 AM

To Calvinists Who Want To Convert Me

I don’t mind a theological discussion.  I am not a debater.  I have never had a public debate and probably never will.  I admit that I am much more in line to “debate” theology over a cup of coffee than in front of a crowd.  Much like Roger Olson (see my post on James White’s desire to debate Olson), I would not be an able debater and my opponent would no doubt appear to be the winner in a debate.

However, my point here is not to talk about debating as much to address a few Calvinists who have recently taken it upon themselves to convert me to Calvinism.  My earnest desire for them is that the same passion they have used to seek my conversion to Calvinism, I pray they would do the same for souls for the kingdom.  If they will spread the gospel with the same passion they seek to spread Calvinism, how many souls could be saved?  These Calvinists are not your passionate Paul Washer/Charles Spurgeon types.  These Calvinists are the militant, “I am right and all others are wrong” types.  For them, their conversion to Calvinism was much more important than their initial salvation since the gospel equals Calvinism and Calvinism is the gospel.  Calvinism alone, in their minds, is the answer for the world and for the Church.  Any other theology is man-centered and not God-exalting.

Here is my advice to these Calvinists.

1.  Pray for Humility

Perhaps your theology is right but your attitude stinks.  You come across not as a broken man of God but as a Pharisee who has their theology down pat.  You are not patient with anyone (2 Timothy 2:24-25).  You lack the fruit of the Spirit in your life (Galatians 5:22-23) but you feel that your knowledge of Calvinism is sufficient before God.  How sad for you.

2.  Understand that Jesus Alone Saves Sinners

John Calvin didn’t save a soul and never will.  Neither did Arminius or Wesley or Paul.  Jesus alone saves sinners (John 14:6).  Truth is not found in Calvin’s Institutes but in the person of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Romans 9:5).  Our salvation is not based on our knowledge of Calvin or Arminius but upon Jesus and His gospel (Romans 3:22-25).

3.  Calvinism Is Not Perfect

I have never met a perfect theological system.  Every theology has holes and is not always consistent.  I am humble enough to admit that Arminianism is not perfect.  Arminius was not perfect.  He was a fallen man and like us, he was prone to error.  So was Calvin.  So was Luther.  So was Edwards, Wesley, or Whitefield.  Jesus alone was perfect (1 Peter 2:21-24).  Jesus alone must be our standard and He alone must be our salvation.  These militant Calvinists who seek my conversion believe that Calvinism is a perfect theological system unlike my dreadful Arminianism.  How ignorant.  We all see through a glass rather dimly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

4.  Most of Christianity Is Not Calvinistic

By the term “Christianity” I am not meaning truly saved.  I am speaking of those who claim Christianity including Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc.  Historically speaking, most of the Christian world doesn’t claim either Arminianism or Calvinism.  The Restoration Movement for example would say that they follow the Bible only.  While their theology is basically Arminian in many ways, they do reject aspects of Arminianism such as total depravity and prevenient grace.  These militant Calvinists write to me as if most of the true Church are Calvinists and if I (and all non-Calvinists) don’t accept the gospel of Calvinism then we are lost without God.

5.  The Greatest of These Is Love

My militant Calvinist evangelist, please read and meditate upon 1 Corinthians 13:13.  Read Jesus’ words in John 13:34-35 and let them sink deep within.  Read Galatians 5:13-15 and let the words of Paul fill your soul.  The greatest gift is love.  God demonstrated His love toward us (Romans 5:8-9).  1 John 4:8 says that the mark of the true follower of God is love since God is love.  Too often people who claim Christ are not marked by love but by pride, arrogance, boasting, and a lack of genuine love for others.

6.  Labor In Prayer More Than Over Your Calvinism Books

The disciples of Jesus in Luke 11:1 asked Jesus to teach them to pray.  These militant Calvinists would have asked Jesus how to convert people to Calvinism.  If these militants would labor in prayer like they labor at Twitter or Facebook or blogs trying to convert other Christians to Calvinism (and I am making an assumption here that you can be saved without being a Calvinist) then they would be known more for their prayer lives than their theology.  I have seen these militant Calvinists and when people see them coming, they run the other way.  But if they were a prayer warrior, oh how many would come to them to ask them to seek God for their needs?  How many countless hours my militant friend have you lost in your searching of Calvinism and not seeking after God?

Written by The Seeking Disciple

11/09/2011 at 10:01 AM

%d bloggers like this: