Sunday, March 28, 2010
1. We know that God is Sovereign over His creation and controls all things. The Westminster Catechism says it like this, "The decrees of God are His eternal purposes according to the council of His will, whereby, for His own glory, he has fore-ordained whatever comes to pass." So because God sovereignly governs all of His creation and because God is perfect and does not make mistakes we know that there will be no one in Hell by accident and no one in Heaven by mistake.
2. We know that God is Sovereign over His creation and if there are some of His sheep in a far off, forgotten, tribe in the Amazon jungle then God will by some means save that sheep. He often will send a missionary there to present the gospel and use hearing of the gospel to save some. There are countless stories of this happening throughout history. This is what Jesus said:
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:12-14
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:2-4
3. We know that God is Sovereign over His creation and know that whoever deserves Hell will go to Hell. If we understand the depraved nature of man we will understand that all men are so vile and wicked that all deserve Hell, but by the unfathomable Grace of God, He chooses to save some. When people ask this question they are really asking the wrong question. Here is an illustration from God's perspective. If I could take anyone of you're minds and plug a computer into your brain and record every thought that has went through your head in the last month, every wicked, disgusting, depraved thought that passed through your mind even for one second (you have had thoughts so wicked you could never tell your closest friend) and display it on a movie screen and then invite all your friends to watch the depraved thoughts you have had, what would you do? You, like all of us, would run fast and never show your face again. God sees every thought that passing through your brain. Every wicked thought, every thought that you say, "wow, where did that come from." So the better question to ask is:
"If God knows every wicked deed I do as well as every wicked thought that just went through my head yesterday, then why did not God kill me in my sleep last night?"
So the man in India, the Amazon, or anywhere else in the world that has not heard of Jesus is still guilty of sinning wickedly against God. All men have a conscience and know right from wrong and their conscience attests to it when they break one of God's commandments by them feeling guilty. All men know there is a God because creation attests to it so all men are without excuse. So there is no Innocent person in Hell because there is no one that is Innocent.
I hope this answer will help.
Friday, March 19, 2010
The other day I got the privilege of witnessing to 3 drugged out Atheists and then another confused Buddhist from Tasmania. Not much conviction in any of them but the seeds were planted.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
a. It may be laid down that the designs of God are always surely efficacious and cannot be frustrated by the actions of man. This applies also to the purpose of saving men through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. If it had been His intention to save all men, this purpose could not have been frustrated by the unbelief of man. It is admitted on all hands that only a limited number is saved.
b. Scripture repeatedly qualifies those for whom Christ laid down His life in such a way as to point to a very definite limitation. Christ died for His “sheep”, John 10:11,15, “His Church”, Acts 20:28, Eph. 5:25-27, “His people”, Matt. 1:21, and the “elect”, Rom. 8:32-35.
c. Christ intercedes for the elect only. He says, “I pray not for the world, but for those who you have given me.” John 17:9
d. The doctrine that Christ died for the purpose of saving all men, logically leads to absolute universalism.
e. The Bible clearly teaches that the design and effect of the atoning work of Christ is not merely to make salvation possible, but to reconcile God and man, and to put men in actual possession of eternal salvation, a salvation which many fail to obtain. Matt. 18:11, Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:21, Gal. 1:4, 3:13, Eph. 1:7
f. Christ during His earthly ministry is aware of a group of people whom the Father has given to Him. “All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out…this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up a the last day” John 6:37-39
g. Further support is found in the consideration that all the blessings of salvation, including faith, repentance, and all of the works of the Holy Spirit in applying redemption, were also secured by Christ’s redemptive work specifically for His people. Those for whom He earned forgiveness also have had those other benefits earned for them. Eph. 1:3-4, 2:8, Phil. 1:29
h. All true Christians agree on the fact that salvation is limited, that is, all men will not be saved. Like John MacArthur said, “So if salvation is limited you just have to decide on who does the limiting, God or man.” Not a hard one to figure out.
i. Another note concerning evangelism: the free offer of the gospel is to be made to everybody without exception. We also know that everyone who repents and believes in Christ will be saved, so all are called to repentance (Acts 17:30). The fact that God foreknew who would be saved, and that He accepted Christ’s death as payment for their sins only, does not inhibit the free offer of the gospel, for who will respond to it is hidden in the secret counsels of God. That we do not know who will respond no more constitutes a reason for not offering the gospel to all than not knowing the extent of the harvest prevents the farmer from sowing seed in his fields.
Points a – e were taken from Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof, p. 394-395
Points f, g, and I were taken from Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem, p. 594-595
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We moved down the street and stopped at a liquor store where some kids were loitering. Killillay took the kids and had a long conversation with them about the gospel. They were very interested and convicted. They had questions and Killillay answered them. They were very glad he stopped to talk with them about Christ. As Tim was sharing the gospel with the kids, I talked to a Spanish woman. We had a good conversation about Jesus Christ. She didn't speak the best English and I speak bad Spanish (I started learning it a month ago). She thanked me for talking to her. We find that on the street most people are willing to talk to us about the gospel (by God's grace) and they are thankful we stopped them. This is probably contrary to what most people would think but everyone is struggling with stuff and they are looking for answers. We, as Christians, have the answers, the hope, the cure and all we have to do is give to the dying people and let God take care of the results. Praise God.
We moved down to a public library and I found an atheist. He was very logical and educated. I took him through the law, he had a lot of the usual objections which I answered. I shared the gospel to him and answered more objections. It was a good conversation. Seed planted. We went and ate at the el pollo loco (the crazy chicken). Almost everyone in there was Spanish. We gave out some tracts I had in Spanish and Killillay shared the Gospel in Spanish to a woman next to us. Praise God for the great opportunities to share the gospel. This was one of the highlights of our trip and we longed to stay on the streets witnessing for weeks but we had to return home.
I forgot to add one thing about the Shepherds conference. When ever you do anything for God you can expect the devil to show up and try and stop it. One evening some guys showed up with a big Nazi sign and said John MacArther wanted us to follow Hitler. There were plenty of cops that showed up in case there was a problem. I talked with them for a while and they said they were "Christians". MacArther never even made mention of these guys, which was great. They never got the attention they wanted.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
The morning session started off with Phil Johnson preaching from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. The four points were to: Watch, be steadfast in the faith, be brave (or manly), and be strong. We are to do all things in v. 13 with love (v. 14).
Session 2 - Steve Lawson
Huge surprise for the music tonight. The Getty's are here and melted our hearts with hymns that so exalt Jesus Christ. They truly prepared our hearts to hear the Word of God preached.
Lawson introduces his text as Job 1:6-12, "The invisible war".
Here are a few things that jumped out:
Before God uses a man greatly He must break him greatly. The more we want to be used by God, the more we have to be willing to suffer. With great godliness comes great exposure to the enemy.
I believe in the devil because I battled him this morning - Martin Luther
As Lawson was speaking of how God uses the devil to accomplish His will, he said, "God will draw a straight line with a crooked stick."
I want to be as well known in Hell as in Heaven - Martin Luther
There are many secondary causes but there is only one primary cause, which is God.
Calvin on his death bed said, "I kiss the rod that smites me."
Lawson continued the sermon preaching with fire. He heated things up so much that the AC kicked on. He ended with a personal story of God crushing him in his ministry as he was preaching on Job. It was a great sermon.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This is such a great conference. They treat you like royalty and give you so much stuff. They already gave us 23 books each plus a $50 gift certificate to their bookstore. I already will have to try and pack home 29 books and I still need to buy one more. The food is also great. All I can compare it to is a cruise ship. Plenty of food and drinks available all hours of the day. They even throw in a free gourmet coffee, free haircuts, and free shoe shines. Crazy.
Session 1 Thursday
Back to the conference. Rick Holland opened up this Thursday morning with a phenomenal exposition on Luke 12:1-12. I again can only give some highlights because it was so in depth and over an hour long.
Here are the 4 main points:
1. Don't fear hypocrites, fear hypocrisy. V. 1-3. Hypocrisy is hiding your sins from the faithful or your faith from the sinful.
Every time we sin we become practical atheists - Tozer
Desiring to please others will always lead into hypocrisy and we all fall into it HOURLY!
2. Don't fear the threat of men, fear the threat of God. V. 4-7.
Hell is truth learned to late - I can't remember who this quote was from.
Holland went on for 20 minutes or longer about the reality of Hell and what it is like and that millions are going there daily. It gave us such a burden for the lost.
3. Don't fear confessing Christ, fear denying Him. V. 8-9
4. Don't fear momentary weakness, fear permanent rejection. V. 10
Evening Session - Al Mohler
To start off the evening we had some crazy protesters outside the church with a Nazi sign saying that MacArthur said we should follow Hitler. There were cops everywhere. I talked to one of the protesters for a while and they claimed to be Christians concerned for us following MacArthur.
I'm sitting here right now in the church listing to the signing, which is so powerful. It is something else to hear over 3000 men of God singing in unison some of the greatest hymns of all time.
Mohler steps up to speak to standing room only and praises God for the opportunity and privilege to preach. He gives John credit for preaching in the same church for 4 decades. Al talked about the absence of physical pulpits in many churches is because there is an absence of preaching in many churches.
There are no little people and there are no little places.
Al reads John 9 and asks how anyone can preach a small sermon.
All evil in the world can be traced back to the fall of man in Genesis 3. Why was the man born blind? So that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works that God has given us when He gives them to us because there will be a time when no man can work. Again, he is getting so deep into it that I can't put it all down so I will hit a few points.
Al continued to expound the text verse by verse in a very engaging way keeping everyone at full attention.
The hinge of the passage is in verse 3: So the works of God can be done in him.
Spiritually the blind man was among blind men even though physically he was blind and the men could see.
There are no little people. How many people do we pass by on the street that need the gospel. There are also no little servants.
God's glory is going to be displayed at the Judgement in either peoples salvation or damnation.
The first sessions was opened by John MacArthur and he preached on 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1.
A few interesting points:
America was the first nation to separate politics and religion. All other nations before ingrained religion with politics because what a person believes can't be broken apart from his politics. What we believe shapes the way we view everything.
2Co 6:14 says: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
The church should be distinct from the culture not like it. This does not mean that a husband should divorce his unbelieving wife or that we should not be in the world sharing the gospel or that we should not be in a secular school but it does mean that we should be separated from the world in our lifestyle, our spirit, our words and so on.
What are the issues that Christians should divide over? John lists: Scripture, doctrine, worship, teaching, and ministering issues. Christians should divide over these points because:
1. It is irrational to yoke with unbelievers who think exactly opposite in everything.
2. It is sacrilegious to do this
3. It is disobedient to God.
4. It is unprofitable
5. It is ungrateful
The point of 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 is that if you want the favor of God then don't do this stuff. Don't compromise with the ungodly people and systems of this world.
Tom Pennigton Preached next on 1 Corinthians 2. He blew us away with his exposition. There were so many good things in his sermon that I can't put them all so I will just lay out a few things that hit me.
No man can give the impression that he is cleaver and at the same time glorify God.
From every text in Scripture there is a road to Christ. Our job as preachers is to find that road and follow it in our sermons.
We need to depend on God's grace and not our personal ability. (1 Cor. 2:3)
An interesting point about Paul when he said he came in weakness, fear and in much trembling was that he was already preaching for 20 years. 1 Cor. 15:10 said that Paul depended on God's grace. We must approach the ministry in the same way.
We must trust in the Spirits power and not any human method or technique. 1 Cor. 2:4. This way God gets all the glory.
Question to consider:
What are the persuasive methods we are tempted to depend on instead of the Spirit?
God never blesses laziness. Careful preparation and exegesis are essential but we must fully trust in the Spirit.
John MacArthur preached the evening session. Her are a few points.
We need to have 3 levels of integrity:
1. In our family
2. In our church
3. In our relationship with the people around us.
MacArthur said the hardest part of the ministry was to be falsely accused.
4 reasons to defend our ministry:
1. reverence for the Lord. v. 11
2. concern for the church. v. 12
3. devotion to the truth. v. 13
4. Gratitude for our Salvation. v. 14
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Killillay and I are going to hit the streets in LA on our dinner break. I will post when I can on how things are going. LA is great, you don't even have to look for people to share the gospel with, they are everywhere. Praise God.
Monday, March 1, 2010
And the winner, by the Providence of God, of the leather ESV study bible is.........................Jeremy Roberts. Congratulations Jeremy, now everyone but me has one of these great Bibles. Even though I want one of these Bibles really bad, I will not break the 10th commandment.