Here is test #8.Read the verses, please, and try to remember if you ever heard a sermon on them.  Probably you have not because they contradict popular ideas.  Most preachers will not preach them, except to try to explain them away, assuring folks that they do not really mean what they say.  Read on.  Decide if you, your preacher and your church really believe “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).

“And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost” (Luke 15:3-6).

A parable has a special double purpose.  Jesus said, “…Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them” (Mark 4:11, 12).  The purpose of parables is to make truth clearer to those to whom “it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” and at the same time keep the truth hidden from those who are “without” or outside God’s elect.  If those “without” could “perceive” and “hear” they would “be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”So, Jesus spoke in parables to clarify truth to the chosen ones and to hide it from those whom God in His wisdom and justice determined to leave alone.  Few preachers preach on God’s sovereign election (choice) of those whom He will save, but the Bible is full of this doctrine.  Preachers often say that it is God’s will that all people be saved.  The God they preach is therefore a failure because He cannot save all whom He wants to save.  According to their unbiblical theory, God cannot even get the Gospel to all people for in every generation there are millions who have never heard it.

This same crowd of preachers thinks that sinners come to Christ by their own power.  They are forced to say this, because if it is necessary for God to draw men to Christ, why does He not draw all men?  Or, perhaps according to them, God tries to draw all men to Christ but is unable to do so because they resist Him.  The old Babylonian king new better than that!  He said that God“…doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, Whatdoest thou?” (Dan. 4:35).  But most modern religionists have a “god” whose hand can be stopped and who cannot do according to his will either in heaven or on earth.  The parable above teaches about Christ, the Good Shepherd.  First of all note that the lost sheep belongs to theGood Shepherd.  Itis the Good Shepherd who is searching for His sheep.  Lost sheep do not search for the shepherd.  Paul made that clear when he wrote, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).  Being God, the Good Shepherd knows exactly where His lost sheep is and goes and gets His sheep.  After finding His sheep, the Shepherd rejoices because His sheep is found.

People who are religious by nature or who fear eternal punishment may seek after the perceived benefits of salvation. Many preachers today insist that physical healing is in the atonement.  Because of this teaching, some folks seek after healing.  Some teach that God will make His children prosperous and some folks “come to Christ” because they want prosperity.  Many preachers preach the supposed benefits of the Gospel and entice people to “pray the prayer” or “open their heart’s door” or some other equally unscriptural invention of man.  People do this thinking they are going to be healthy, wealthy and escape the fires of eternal punishment just because they prayed or “made a decision” or were “baptized” or met some other religious requirement.  Many religious lies are told over pulpits every Sunday, but Jesus said, “no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (John 6:65).  “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6).

Contact: Curtis Pugh, 505 NanihWaiya Ln., Poteau, OK 74953 – Telephone: (918) 647-7322

Authorized by the Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana

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