Theology


Since the gospel must be proclaimed boldly, it’s as equally imperative to declare the gospel in its entirety. The entire gospel message must always contain two parts, a positive and negative side (humanly speaking), and it’s absolutely indispensable that both sides are equally promulgated. The Bible warns not to add or omit any portion of Scripture. (Deut. 12:32, Prov.30:6, Rev. 22:18-19). Therefore, the negative side of the gospel, the side which is the most compromised, perverted, or omitted altogether, must be purely broadcasted. In actuality, the gospel in totality is good news. The word “gospel”, in the original Greek language; euaggelian, is defined; good tidings; good news. The positive side of the gospel contains: God’s love, grace, comfort, forgiveness, patience, long-suffering, mercy, peace, blessings, etc. This is what all people desire the characteristics of God to be, and are comfortable hearing these attributes stated. In fact, some people only believe the positive attributes of God, and will not entertain the biblical characteristics of God which reveal the contrary. The seemingly negative side of the gospel is: sin, sinners; Law, submission, obedience, sanctification, discipline, chastisement, ramification, wrath, judgment, condemnation, hell, etc; and is what makes the positive side of the gospel make sense. Pastor Steve Lawson stated; “You cannot give people the good news, unless you give them the bad news first.” I compare performing evangelism similar to a question that many people have posed at one time or another; “I’ve got good news and bad news; what do you want to hear first?” Typically, people want to hear the bad news first, so that the good news has a mollifying effect when the bad news is presented to them.  In this case that is true, tell people the bad (negative) side of the gospel first, so the good (positive) side, our Savior Jesus Christ, offers the hearer eternal hope and a powerful reason to avoid the negative eternal consequences. “Charles Spurgeon wrote; “We rob the gospel of its power if we leave out its threatening and punishment”. In many of today’s churches, preaching the entire gospel with boldness and conviction is considered unpopular or unacceptable to the ears of many congregates. And sadly, many pastors are acquiescing to the ear-tickling desires of their congregations by compromising the completeness and gravity of its message. In fact, they are preaching the opposite, by aiming to appease the people (John 12:43), by molly-coddling them; only teaching ambiguously and quixotically, glee-filled messages. According to Dr. Al Mohler, “this is a seismic shift in the culture”. And tragically, it leads to generations of pastors who do not faithfully proclaim the gospel, because many do not...

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We are going to post an 8 part series of “Spread the Gospel Boldly, not Reticently”. Please check each Friday for the next part. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a merciful life-saving proclamation which no other message distributed among human beings is as vitally important, nor life-giving. The Gospel is heralding the exclusivity of Jesus Christ; His death, burial, and Resurrection. And that all who believe unto Him in their heart, will be forgiven of their sins and inherit eternal life (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, Mark 15:24-25, 1 Cor. 15:4, Rom. 10:9-10, 13, Luke 5:24, Acts 10:43, 13:38). It is only the gospel message that is instrumental in leading people to the glorious supernatural phenomenon of salvation. And unbelievably, God grants Christians, mere finite creatures, the honor and privilege of participating in this miraculous process. How magnificent it is, to know the Divine Creator allows His children to plant and water (evangelism) the seed (the word of God), which God employs to perform the miracle of growth on who He chooses (salvation–1 Cor. 3:6). It’s through man’s sowing of the seed, that God reaps His crop. In essence, the gospel message is God’s chosen means to bring about salvation. (Rom. 10:15). Incidentally, God does not need man’s assistance in the salvation process, but amazingly grants mankind an important role to perform in His glorious plan of redemption. But, just so you do not think I’m promoting heretical doctrine, I’ll say it again; God does not require man’s help to bring about salvation, but, has chosen to use human instruments to herald the life-saving gospel to the lost. In fact, evangelism is not just a privilege of Christians, it’s a mandate. Moments before His ascension, Jesus commanded that the gospel be declared to all nations. And Paul requisitioned it to be proclaimed “boldly” and frequently (Matt. 28:19, Acts 10:42, 2 Tim. 4:2). The Father gives the Son love-gifts; those chosen for eternal life, in whom the Son guarantees to raise up on the last day (John 6:39, 49, 44, 10:29, 17:24). Therefore, it is for this very reason that all Christians should dutifully, zealously, and boldly engage in the spreading of the gospel. The word “boldly” according to the “Random House Dictionary”, is defined; “not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring”. Or, The Collins English Dictionary definition is: 1 “Courageous, confident and fearless; ready to take risks”. 2 “Showing or requiring courage”. 3 “Standing out distinctly; conspicuously”. The word “boldly” in the original Greek language (parraiazamai) is defined; “To speak freely or confidently”; as in Acts 13:46, 14:3, 18:26,...

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* (Guest writer~Apologist Rob Zins)* Dear Friends of His Mercy, Often times we use the phrase “think it through” in order to examine whether a proposition will work out in the end. It does not matter what kind of proposition. The idea of “thinking it through” is a wise thing to do. We try to see the end of it. We want to know if any given thought or activity will have a good result or lead to disaster. When I coached football we as a staff were always “thinking it through”. We wanted to know what plays both offensively and defensively would work to win the ball game. When I was in business we always tried to “think it through”. We were trying to get a handle on costs and potential profit. Everyone should “think it through” before planning anything or buying into anything. Just take some time and effort and “think it through”. This advice seems simple enough and even wise. We are cautioned from Scripture “to examine everything and hold fast to that which is good” 1 Thess.5:21. My point in bringing this up is to remind us as Christians that we have a responsibility to think things through when it comes to what we are being told on Sunday mornings, evenings, and Wednesday nights. We are called to contemplate, reflect upon, consider, deliberate, and “think it through”. This has great value in taking on board whether something is ultimately good. We are to take on board (hold fast) that which is good. This will build up discernment in the Body of Christ. The more discerning we are the better we are able to defend the essentials of Christianity. We are able also to avoid many other pitfalls like megalomaniac (power-hungry) leaders, and ecumenical propositions that are out of place in the Body of Christ. The ecumenical movement is successful because it dumbs down doctrine and theology. But I think the natural man is left to his own desires, he will prefer deceivers rather than truth-bearers, vice rather than virtuecumenical movement is the fruit of years and years of erosion of discernment in the local church. It is hard to say when “experience” began to trump truth in the American evangelical world. I am sure numerous factors have contributed to dissolve any resolve to have a discerning Body of Christ in America. At points along the way doctrine, theology, exegesis, study, scholarly “thought through” thought-provoking sermons, and teaching gave way to happy little homilies, or clichéd, and banal attempts at communicating the Word of God. For whatever reasons we are left with the fastest growing so-called Christian...

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Contend, Out of Love for Jesus!

Contend, Out of Love for Jesus!


Posted By on Jun 8, 2014

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3   Jude was well aware of the infiltration of false teachers which threatened the church and realized he had to address this treacherous and rapidly spreading cancer by writing a warning to believers (Jude 1:1). He was first compelled to write believers regarding their “common salvation“. According to great theologian Martin Luther, Jude’s letter was purposed to be a letter of exhortation; 1”To hew a clear path for your feet in the faith that has once already been preached to you. To be on guard and continue on the right path.” But, because of a more dire necessity (the threat of false teachers), Jude changed the letters context to a stern admonishment; he urged believers to “earnestly contend” for the faith (Jude 3). What made these threats even more perilous was the fact that these false teachers were creeping into the church unnoticed (Jude 4). The word “unnoticed”, in the original Greek, pareisduo, is defined; to settle in alongside of“, this implies false teachers were gaining trust among church leaders and comfortably moving up the ranks to teaching positions. John Calvin wrote; 2“He (Jude), teaches us that it is an intestine evil; for Satan in this respect is also crafty, as he raises up those who are of the flock to do mischief, in order that they may more easily creep in.”   According to Calvin, it is the work of Satan and since his evil realm is a force to be reckoned with, Christians must adorn themselves with the armor of God and prepare for battle against his nefariousness. (Eph. 6:13-18). The Webster dictionary defines the word “contend”; to strive in combat; fight. In the original Greek; epagonizomai (ἑπαγωνιζομαι), defined; to conduct a strenuous defense of a belief. Jude was not riling Christians up to be inappropriately offensive or contentious toward others with their beliefs. But rather, he was warning believers to vehemently defend the very truth they had come to know and to refrain from the error that these false teachers attempted to corrupt the church. For Jude to change the epistles initial intent of the content, demonstrated just how pernicious he believed these threats truly were.   In fact, throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, heresy and apostasy were a commonly repeated occurrence. The apostle Paul, for example, spent much of his time writing to various churches refuting the plethora of doctrinal...

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Elder’s Worthy of Double Honor

Elder’s Worthy of Double Honor


Posted By on Apr 30, 2014

Elders Worthy of Double Honor.     “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Tim. 5:17-18).   What type of elders are “worthy of double honor”? They are men who excel at serving a Body of believers in a local church, as superintended by the Holy Spirit. They are men who work diligently at studying and proclaiming the word of God for the edification and sanctification of their congregation. Not only are they required to teach God’s word accurately (1 Tim. 3:2, 2 Tim. 2:15, 24, Titus 1:9), but must also demonstrate, by example, lives reflecting integrity of what they teach (Phil. 3:17, 1 Tim. 1:16, 4:12).  Although the word “integrity” is not in the text of 1 Tim. 5:17, it is definitely implied by the stringent qualifications an elder must possess (1 Tim. 3:2-7, Ti 1:6-9): “…An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Tim. 3:2-7 NASB). If a man is devoid of any one of these qualifications, he is disqualified from becoming an elder.  These austere qualifications are not required for an individual to possess secular employment, but according to God, they are absolutely imperative and mandatory to possess to be an elder. Very few men are truly called for eldership, for these men will have the onerous responsibility of shepherding Christ’s church. Therefore, we ought to thank God for such men and help them bear such serious obligations, by constantly praying for them, loving them, supporting them, submitting to them; and by willingly following their lead.   So there is not any confusion regarding the terms given to New Testament church leaders, an elderin the original Greek, presbuteros (an old man), is synonymous with: bishop episkope (overseer), overseer episkope (overseer, appoints, attend); all of these titles are interchangeable for the same person.  Furthermore, some elders...

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Disciple(s) Are All Believers!

Disciple(s) Are All Believers!


Posted By on Feb 28, 2014

Disciple(s), Are All believers! If you continuously “follow” Jesus Christ, you are a “disciple”!   After joyfully, yet meticulously studying the book of Acts, I interestingly discovered a different way in which today’s evangelicals use the word “disciple”, which is in contrast to the early church’ employment.  Over the years, I have attended many churches which taught that a “disciple” of Jesus Christ, connoting a different meaning or usage, other than the way God originally intended in the book of Acts, nearly 2,000 years ago. “Disciple” which once was used to identify all followers of Jesus Christ, is now being employed ambiguously or rarely to identify Christians.   Interestingly, even some churches that maintain staunch, austere doctrine, and, are fastidious to Biblical accuracy, have acquiesced to the tergiversation or scant way the word “disciple” is employed.  To them, a “disciple” typically references a special type of Christ follower; a unique individual; someone possessing zealous aspirations to follow Christ, thus requiring special “discipleship” training, and, not all believers are equipped for it.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  If you possess the Holy Spirit (which all believers do-1 Cor. 6:19), you are considered a true “disciple”; ALL believers of Jesus Christ and who persevere, are indeed “disciples”; no special training or instruction is required.  The only exception is leadership training and I will explain this later in more detail.   However, being a disciple of Jesus Christ does require obedience and willingness to submit to His Lordship and no believer is exempt.  It is not as simple as accepting His doctrine, or believing in His performed miraculous recorded in the four Gospels.  In the Great Commission for instance, we are exhorted, to “observe”; watch over; guard, ALL that Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:20).  The nascent and amelioration of Christ’s church depicted in Acts, is the quintessential paradigm for Christ followers i.e. disciples.  According to Acts, everyone who believed in Jesus Christ, followed Him, or those who were instructed and believed in Him, were called “disciple”.  The ISBE Bible Dictionary, defines the word disciple as; “A learner”, Grk; Mathete; “to learn”, Grk; Manthano;” a scholar” Latin, discipulus; “a pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher”, Grk; didascalos.  Or, Easton’s Bible Dictionary: “A disciple of Christ is one who 1) believes his doctrine, 2) rests on his sacrifice,  3) imbibes his spirit, and  4) imitates his example”  Mt 10:24 Lu 14:26,27,33 John 6:69.  The original language of Greek, and a exceptionally concise definition of “disciple”, which brings one to understand how distinctive this label identifies Christ followers  of “disciple” –is the Greek word “archaios“, meaning “one from the beginning” [Pentecost], in Acts 21:16.  However,...

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