Posts Tagged ‘Missions’
I ask you to join me in praying for brother Caleb Fielding who is going to England to be a missionary. Pray for the Lord to use Caleb to preach the gospel and to disciple those who repent and believe the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20). Pray for souls to hear the gospel and be saved (Romans 10:14-17). Pray for Caleb to be a man of God, a man of holiness toward the sinners in England (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). Pray for the Church of Jesus Christ in England to experience revival and see souls saved for the glory of God.
For more information on brother Caleb, please see http://www.calebfielding.com
I saw this excerpt clip from a larger sermon by Paul Washer about a month ago and for some reason I’ve been thinking about this. I hope you watch it, it’s short enough (6 minutes). It made me think a lot about the incredible need for good biblical resources for pastors and church leaders […]
The ALS ice bucket challenge is making the rounds. Celebrities, politicians, sports stars, even pastors are making videos of them having ice water poured on them to support funding for ALS. While Christians certainly should support those who are suffering from ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and pray for the a cure from this disease, the ALS donations are also helping to fund stem-cell research from aborted babies. A disciple of Christ should never support any cause that advocates, promotes, or even is involved with abortion.
So what is the disciple to do?
Ironically, the ALS ice bucket challenge has become the baptism of “good doers.” Atheists have begun using the challenge to say that this is their baptism without Christ. They are pledging to do good for others despite their lack of understanding where the idea of good can come from nor how they determine what is good or bad.
Liberals are using the ALS challenge to promote their social gospel. When a church denies the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word, all that is left is to do good for other people rather than preaching the gospel to them.
I personally don’t support any causes that don’t also preach the gospel. Feeding the poor is good. Helping people battle cancer is good. Supporting those who are suffering in this life is good. But unless you preach the gospel to the hurting, the suffering, the poor, the rich, etc., you are not giving them the cure for their greatest disease: sin. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. People with ALS can still be wicked sinners and still go to hell. People with cancer die every single day and they don’t know Christ nor His gospel. People living with HIV die each day but if they don’t know Christ, they will perish (John 3:18). The gospel is the only solution to our fallen world. The gospel prepares men and women for eternity unlike the temporary relief of suffering in this world.
I do think that it is good to do good (Matthew 5:13-18). Galatians 6:10 tells us to do good toward all men and especially the household of faith. Doing good is good. But let us not make the mistake of thinking that doing good equals giving people the gospel. Let us not make the mistake that doing good means that we earn God’s righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). Disciples do good because of the Spirit at work in us (Ephesians 6:10) unlike the world who do good hoping that their good outweighs their bad.
My advice then is to take the money that would be used by the ALS and give it to true Christian charities who work with ALS victims or to missions. The gospel going out is better by far. Again, many with ALS (and other diseases) need to hear the gospel more than anything else. The poor, the hurting, the suffering, the abused – all these need the gospel. Do good but preach the gospel.
For more information on charities that support pro-life positions, see this page.
I borrowed my title from a sentence in George Bryson’s book The Dark Side of Calvinism. This statement reflects the Arminian doctrine of salvation. Arminianism affirms that salvation is the work (energeo) of only one (mono) and thus we can affirm monergism.
Arminians affirm that Jesus alone saves. We are not saved by what we do. We are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8-9), by our being Jewish (Romans 11:5-6), by our being part of a certain denomination or church. Our only hope for salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. This is clear from passages such as 1 Timothy 2:5-6 where Jesus is our only mediator before God. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Romans 10:4 tells us that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Jesus shed His own blood for our salvation (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:14). Ephesians 1:7 reminds us that in Jesus alone do we have forgiveness of our sins. Acts 13:38-39 tells us that faith in Christ frees us from the bondage of sin. Romans 5:1 tells us that we are justified before God through faith in Christ.
It is not then our works that save us. It is faith in Christ and His works that save us. The cross stands as the point of our salvation. Jesus laid down His life for sinners (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9). 1 John 4:14 tells us that Jesus is the Savior of the world but only those in 1 John 4:15 are truly the saved. The same is true of 1 Timothy 4:10. It is not enough that Jesus shed His blood but one must place their faith in Jesus alone to save them. We don’t place our faith in our faith, in our election, or in our goodness. We place our faith in the Lord Jesus alone to save us by His grace (Romans 4:5).
The notion then that Arminians believe in “works righteousness” to save us is not biblically based. We affirm over and over again that salvation is the work of God. We affirm total inability in which no one can earn salvation by their good works (Isaiah 64:6). We affirm that we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:3) and apart from the gospel and the work of the Spirit in the preaching of the gospel, none could be saved. The Spirit opens the sinners heart to the gospel (Acts 16:14-15). Jesus Himself told us in John 6:44 that none can come to Him unless the Father who sent Him draws them. Jesus promised in John 16:8-11 that the Spirit would do His work in the whole world. The Spirit works through the preaching of the gospel to bring people to salvation (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-49; Romans 10:14-17). This is why missions and evangelism are vital. People must hear the gospel to be saved.
What then brings condemnation? Romans 1:18-19 teaches us that people rebel against God because they love their sins. It doesn’t matter if the person is in a Christian nation, a Muslim nation, a Hindu nation, etc. People, by nature, rebel against God (Romans 3:10-18). People love their sins and do not want Christ as Lord over them. They are thus condemned because of their sins. Secondly, people are condemned because of their refusal to repent. We learn this in 2 Thessalonians 2:10 where Paul tells us that people “refused to love the truth and so be saved.” The just condemnation of God is not based on His part but our part. We are condemned because of our sins and our refusal to repent (John 3:18). This is not an issue of divine decrees but our own stubbornness and ignorance.
Our passion then must be to preach the gospel to the lost. People must hear the gospel to be saved. This is no salvation apart from Christ (John 14:6). Salvation is the divine work of God based on His work, His energy (energeo) and is based on one (mono) person only, the Lord Jesus Christ.