Arhive pe categorii: Doctrines of grace

PERSEVERANCE OF THE DEFENDED By Tom Ross

 

IN ORDER TO BE SAVED Curtis Pugh Poteau, Oklahoma

IN ORDER TO BE SAVED

Curtis Pugh

Poteau, Oklahoma

                Salvation is such a misunderstood concept that many people do not even understand the meaning of the word.  So let us start there: A good definition of the word salvation is (1) “deliverance from sin and its consequences” or (2) “preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.”  The latter part of that definition is often the meaning in the Old Testament when it is used regarding natural things.  Notice that is both these definitions set forth the idea of deliverance.  That is the basic meaning of the word.  We sometimes speak of salvation as being in three tenses: past, present and future.  We have been saved from the penalty (guilt) of sin.  We are presently being saved from the power of sin.  This is sometimes called progressive sanctification and has in it the idea of growing in holiness, knowledge, love, etc.  Then the future tense is that we shall one day be saved from the presence of sin.  If we would think of the word salvation as including in it everything that God does for and in and to His elect we would begin to understand the things that are encompassed in this very general word.  Because of the all-encompassing nature of this word salvation and the related words “save” and “saved,” we find the terms used in various ways.  As stated before, salvation and being saved in the Old Testament, often mean deliverance from death, disease and even financial and political ruin.  A prime example of this usage is in Exodus 14:13 where we read, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”  Jehovah’s salvation was to be seen that day by His earthly people Israel.  It was their deliverance from pharaoh’s army. 

                In the New Testament we read that we have been saved and can say that in that sense we are saved.  We read in 2 Timothy 1:9, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”  But the idea of salvation is also used in the sense of a progressive of ongoing work in converted individuals.  We read 1 Timothy 4:16, for example, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”  Here the idea is of an ongoing salvation.  In this case it was deliverance from the disastrous and manifold consequences of false doctrine.  Timothy and the congregation in which he labored were doubtless “saved,” but Timothy would “save” himself and his auditors if he took heed to himself and “the doctrine.”  We also find the word saved used in the sense of something that is going to be experienced by all of God’s elect people from this age.  Romans 5:9 says: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  Surely this demonstrates something of the all-encompassing meaning and usage of the words “saved,” “save,” and “salvation.”  The words deliver, delivered, and deliverance can be substituted for the words “save,” “saved,” and “salvation” and we would have the same meaning. 

                The idea of salvation includes predestination, election, regeneration, calling, justification, sanctification, glorification and anything and everything else that God does in delivering His people from sin and sins.  The title of this piece is “In Order to be Saved.”  There is a sense in which we could say that in order to be saved, a person must be predestinated to be saved.  That is true, but predestination occurred long before any of us were born and we did not experience it in our lifetimes. So also it is with election.  And there is a sense in which a part of our salvation is yet future.  So then, there are things that God did for His elect the foundation of the world.  There are things that God does for, to and in His elect people during their earthly sojourn upon this globe.  And there are things that God will do for, to and in His elect people that are yet in what we understand and speak of as the future. 

                Let us consider our title again: it says, “In Order to be Saved.”  We may list a multitude of things that must take place in order for a person to be saved.  As we have stated, some of these things are unknown to man in his experience, even God’s saints, having occurred prior to their lives. For instance, none of us experienced our election unto salvation.  The only knowledge we have of it is from the Word of God.  Let us rather limit our thoughts at this time to what must happen in the experience of God’s elect people in order for them to be saved.  If I may put it this way, where is it that the rubber of our experience meets the road of God’s grace?  The phrase selected for the title of this piece comes from what this writer estimates to be one of the weakest old Baptist confessions of faith ever penned: i.e. the New Hampshire Baptist Confession which was published in A.D. 1833. Weak as it is on some points, there are nuggets of great value that can be mined from this confession.  The words in the title of this piece appear in Article 7 of that confession.  It says, “We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again…”  Here, and I think rightly so, the writer(s) equate regeneration and the new birth.  Jesus told Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7)  It is interesting that the original King James Version has two marginal notes which deal with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus.  They both give an alternative reading for “born again” as “born from above.”  James Strong says that the Greek word transliterates as “anothen” and that it is translated 5 times as “from above,” 3 times as “top,” 2 times as “again,” and 1 time each as “from the first” and “from the beginning,” and that one time the Greek word is not translated at all in our version, making a total of 13 times this word appears in the Greek text.  Perhaps we would better understand what Jesus was telling Nicodemus if we use the KJV alternative reading: “born from above.”  Nicodemus, the number one rabbi in Israel, did not understand many things and so came to ask Jesus – what things we do not know.  Immediately, without allowing Nicodemus to ask anything, Jesus told him that he needed to be born again, or if you please, born from above.

                Baptists that have been “sound in wind and limb” (as horsemen say) have believed down through the centuries that “in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again…”  This is the first thing that must happen to a person in his experience if he is to be saved!  By first, I do not mean so much the first thing in time, as if regeneration can be separated or segregated from conversion, but rather the first thing in sequence.  And I mean that this first thing (regeneration) is the cause of other things that take place – i.e. things that come under the general heading of salvation – repentance and faith and newness of life.  These last three make up what we may term conversion. Regeneration is God working in us while conversion consists of those outward things in our lives that are evidence that God has worked in us.  And so our Baptist forefathers believed.  And so the author(s) of this old Baptist confession believed and stated.  And so we preach, “Ye must be born again!”

                When this writer was a very young believer, still very much an Arminian having been naturally born into that philosophy and mode of thought, he had a difficult problem with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus.  I thought, here was a perfect opportunity for the Lord Jesus to have told Nicodemus just what it was that Nicodemus, as a lost sinner, needed to do in order to be born again.  I remember praying and telling the Lord that I knew that He knew best, but that it would have been really helpful (in my ignorant opinion) if He had told us somewhere in the Bible just what it was that a person had to do in order to be born again.  You see, I thought that a lost sinner could do something to bring about his own new birth.  (I record this to my shame, but hopefully as a helpful illustration.)  Think of it!  Jesus never did tell Nicodemus what he should do in order to be born again.  And on top of that, nowhere else in the Bible does the Word of God tell us what we must do in order to be born again!  The Bible is clear.  We, like Nicodemus, must be born again or born from above or regenerated. Use whatever term you wish for they all speak of the same thing.  We must be thus made alive by the Holy Spirit if we are going to be delivered from our sin and our sins!  But we do not know how to be!  We are not told what to do to bring about our own new birth or regeneration!  Why is that?  Well, the answer is quite simple, really.  It is this: there is nothing a lost sinner can do in order to bring about his own new birth or regeneration.  That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)  The new birth or being born from above – regeneration if you please – is a work of the Holy Spirit who is as sovereign in His actions as either the Father or the Son.  He is as uncontrolled and uncontrollable as the wind!  (By sovereign it is meant that the triune God is uncontrolled or uninfluenced in His purposes and actions.  He is not capricious, but He does as He pleases.  God is One who is capable of “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10).  This is sovereignty.)  Simply stated, you cannot push, entice or bribe God the Father, God the Son or God the Holy Spirit into doing anything that He has not purposed to do from the foundation of the world and before.  So then, there is nothing that a lost sinner can do in order to be born again or regenerated!  That is why Jesus did not tell Nicodemus to “do something” in order to be born again.  That is why you cannot, search as you may, find any verse or passage in the whole of the Bible that tells us what a person needs to do in order to bring about his new birth or regeneration.  Regeneration is out of man’s hands.  The new birth or being born again is out of men’s hands.

                The Arminian position so popular today is to equate the new birth with conversion.  By so mixing the two and ignoring Holy Ghost regeneration they lay the burden of what they call repentance and faith upon the poor lost sinner.  They demand that he, dead in his sins, unable to please God and actually at enmity with God – nevertheless, they demand of such sinners that they produce what our Baptist forefathers called the twin gifts of repentance and faith.  The old New Hampshire Baptist Confession, with all its weaknesses states it clearly in Article 8.  It says, “We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God…”  And thus this old confession puts regeneration by the Holy Spirit as that which produces both repentance and faith.  Clearly they believed that regeneration is the cause of repentance and faith.  Furthermore, they had not fallen into the error of the so-called “Primitive Baptists” who believe that regeneration can occur apart from its consequences which are repentance and faith.  The regeneration of the “Primitive Baptists” has no necessary consequences in the life of the person regenerated for they say that a man may be regenerated apart from ever hearing the Word of God.  They say a man can be regenerated and never ever in this lifetime know it.  So they believe that there exists a multitude of regenerated unbelievers – persons who are blood-bought children of God who have never heard of Christ.  Absurd!  And totally unbiblical for no regenerated unbelievers exist in the Bible.

                And yet probably most of our contemporaries – professing believers in Christ – think that if you will pray, open your heart’s door, go forward, invite Jesus into your heart, feel sorry for your sins, make a decision for Christ, commit your life to Christ, pray the sinner’s prayer or lift your hand during “the invitation,” you will bring about your own new birth.  The religious world does not believe in Holy Ghost regeneration, but believes that a man can birth himself into the family of God.  Surely Jesus used the metaphor of birth for wise reasons.  We do not dare attribute a casual mistake or ignorance to the Lord Jesus Christ.  He had a reason or reasons for using the exact terminology which He used in His conversation with lost Nicodemus.  Think for a moment about the birth process to which Christ likened regeneration.  A baby does not bring about his own birth.  He is not causative in the birth process, but he is a vital participant for it is the baby who is born.  It is a part of his life experience, but one of which he has no memory.  Apart from the birth process, a baby would never experience life, interact with a congregation of saints, or achieve anything worthwhile in this life.  His birth sets him free from the confines of his mother’s body.  It is only after a birth that a baby can grow and develop sufficiently as to achieve his full potential.  So it is with the new birth or regeneration.  A lost sinner does not bring about his new birth.  He is not causative in the matter of regeneration.  He does not experience this new birth as a conscious being so as to have a memory of it.  Only after being born from above can an individual achieve his full potential for God and eternity.

                Now someone will say, ‘Why, you believe that a sinner gets saved before he gets saved.’  I have heard that charge made against regeneration by the sovereign will of God before.  Such a statement is often the result of not understanding the differences between regeneration and conversion.  What I believe is what the old Baptists believed and stood for in the past.  It is exactly what is stated in this New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith.  We have looked at only a part of Article 7 thus far.  Here it is in its entirety (except for proof texts).  “We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life.” According to this confession, regeneration (1) consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; (2) it is accomplished in a way above our understanding; (3) it is accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit; (4) it is brought about in connection with God’s Word; (5) it is brought to pass in such a way as to cause us to willingly believe the gospel; and (6) that its evidences are the holy fruits of repentance, faith and a godly life.  Now you know what the author(s) of the New Hampshire Baptist Confession believed about the subject back in 1833. 

                But what is important is what does the Bible say, not what this writer or any Baptist confession says!  And so we ask these questions.  Did Jesus tell Nicodemus that it was necessary for him to be born again?  Yes!  Did Jesus tell Nicodemus that the new birth was a work of the Spirit? Yes!  Did Jesus tell Nicodemus that there was anything he could do to effect his own new birth?  No! Does the Bible teach that lost sinners are spiritually dead and therefore in need of life?  Yes!  Does the Bible tell lost sinners that there is something that they can do to resurrect themselves or birth themselves into God’s family?  No! 

But let us close on a positive note.  “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”(Romans 8:9)  It is the high privilege of those who are regenerated to be made partakers of the divine nature by that very regeneration (2 Peter 1:4).   It is their privilege to be “in the Spirit” because the Spirit of God indwells them.  This indwelling of the Spirit began when the Holy Ghost moved in at regeneration or the new birth.  And in this condition, you can please God!  Reader, if you are yet lost in your sins, may the knowledge that you cannot bring about your own new birth lay heavily upon your heart and mind so much so that you will consider seriously your present state as well as that future place to which you shall surely and justly be condemned.  If these things do not concern you – if in considering them you are not most miserable in your inner self – it is evidence that you yet lack regeneration.  That does not necessarily mean that God has finally rejected you, but rather that you are in a perilous condition and in need of regeneration and its fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life.  The tree must be made good, for good fruit does not come from an evil tree.  (See Matthew 7:16-20 and 12:33).  And that is exactly what regeneration or the new birth does.  It makes the tree good so that the good fruits of regeneration which are repentance, faith and newness of life spring forth.   “In order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again.”

WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US by Pugh Curtis

WE LOVE HIM BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US
”We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Eight words make up this one-sentence verse in our commonly used English Bible. These are simple words that require no explanation other than to say that the Greek word for “love” and “loved” transliterates as “agapao” which is the word used of God’s love in contrast to “phileo” which is used of brotherly love. We note that the two pronouns, “we” and “us” must refer to the same people. The grammar of the sentence requires it. English language rules do not support the idea that God loves everyone unless it can be demonstrated that everyone loves God and that is obviously not true. These people are said to love God and God is said to love these people. Those people who love God is not a larger group than those whom God loves. Conversely, those people whom God loves is not a larger group than those who love God. The people represented by the “we” and the “us” are the same people. It cannot be otherwise. “We” who love Him are the “us” whom He loved first. Everyone whom God loves loves Him! There is no reason given as to why God loves these people, but these people love God because God loved them first. We must ask this: When did God begin to love these people? Did He once hate these people? Or did He just somehow once upon a time not love them? Did He change and for some reason begin to love these people whom He had not loved before? Such a change is not possible with God for He declares, “For I am the LORD, I change not…”l (Malachi 3:6). Again the Bible tells us, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent…” (Numbers 23:19). With God “…is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). So we learn that God neither repents nor changes! He is constant and has been forever. He may appear to change because men neither understand Him of His eternal plan, but He does not change. If God were to change it would mean that either He was prior to His change less than perfect or that He changed from perfection and became less than perfect.
Since God does not change and since the Bible says, “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18), we must understand that God loved these people from before the foundation of the world. These people and God’s love for them has always been a part of God’s great eternal plan of redemption. He planned to act in a particular way toward these people because God’s love is neither in active nor is it just a sentimental feeling. God’s love is a determination to do good to the object of His love regardless of what it costs Him. It was God’s love to all the nations of the world that was displayed when He gave Christ to pay for the sins of a multitude in all nations – see John 3:16.
What did God do in eternity for these people whom He loved then? How is it that He included them in His eternal plan? The Bible makes it clear in Ephesians 1:4-6: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” In these verses we learn that God predestinated these people to be His children, that He chose them in Christ before the foundation of the world and that He made these people accepted in the beloved Son, Christ Jesus. These are plainly stated facts and above disputation although most people do not understand these things and many openly state their disbelief of these great truths. This passage also states that the reason God did these things was “according to the good pleasure of his will.” So then, these things were done before the foundation of the world for those people whom God loved “according to the good pleasure of his will:” Not because of anything these people ever did. God does not love “us” because of anything we ever did or will do. Romans 9:10-16 says: “…when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” God loved Jacob and hated Esau according to this passage and did so before either had been born. So then Bible believers must conclude that God predestinated, chose, and made some people accepted in the beloved before the foundation of the world – and that He did so without regard for anything they would ever do. Nothing that these people would ever will to do or attempt to do or accomplish caused God to love these people. God willed to love the unlovely!
And so when we read that, ”We love him, because he first loved us” we must understand that this verse speaks of a particular people whom God loved from before the foundation of the world. We must also understand that it was because of God’s great eternal plan that He chose to love them and do all for them in order to make them His sons and daughters. If you are one of the “we” who love Him because He first loved you – give Him all the glory for your blessed spiritual condition and take no glory unto yourself for “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES -8 BY PUGH CURTIS

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES #8

            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

Ads paid for by authorizing Church and other Churches of like faith and practice

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES -7 BY PUGH CURTIS

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES #7

            Here is test #7.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).

Jesus prayed thus to His Father:“…As thou hast given him (Jesus)power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:2, 3).

Notice 3 things Jesus tells us here.  He tells us who it is that gives eternal life; what eternal life is; and to whom eternal life is given.  First of all we learn that it is the Son (Jesus) who gives eternal life.  About His sheep Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).Christ Jesus Himself gives eternal life! We also learn that eternal life is a matter of knowing God the Father (“the only true God”)and Jesus Christ.  Jesus said, “no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him”(Luke 10:22).  If Christ does not reveal the Father to you, you cannot know Him.  Unless and until Christ reveals the Father to you, you do not have eternal life!  Do not think you can go to God or Christ in a one-time prayer and come away knowing Him and His Son! When Paul wrote about his salvation experience he said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,To reveal his Son in me…” (Gal. 1:15, 16).  Paul had been set apart for salvation from before his birth.  In time God called Paul by grace for the purpose of revealing His Son in him.  True salvation is a supernatural experience brought about by a personal, supernatural revelation of Christ (not voices, visions, dreams, etc.) in the heart and life of the sinner.  Has that happened to you?

A third thing we learn is to whom Christ gives eternal life.  Jesus said that He gives eternal life “to as many as thou (the Father) hast given him.”The Bible does not teach that eternal life is dispensed indiscriminately, but rather is given to those whom God chose in eternity.  The Bible is clear: “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).  The Bible says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4).  “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thes. 2:13).  God has chosen some to life.  God also makes it clear that all are welcome to come to Christ.  “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:34, 35).  But apart from the work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, sinners will not come.  They are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:4).  They do not want to deny themselves, bear a cross, and lose their lives as Jesus said they must.  They are welcome to come, but they will not.  Jesus said, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). The flesh wants nothing to do with God or Christ!

That God’s election or choosing is unto salvation is made clear by Paul’s statement regarding his suffering. He wrote “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10).  God has His “elect” and they shall obtain salvation!  In time God’s elect are brought to repentance and faith in Christ.God has determined the means to bring them to Himself.  Do you have biblical evidence that you are one of God’s elect?  Do you have a desire to really follow Christ – to do God’s will?  “It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).Paul wrote, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God” (1 Thes. 1:4).  Paul knew those people were the elect of God.  He saw the evidence.  Do you know that you are one of God’s elect?  Have you experienced godly sorrow over your sin?  Has God worked in you “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ?”(Acts 20:21).

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

Authorized by the Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana

Ads paid for by authorizing Church and other Churches of like faith and practice

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES -6 BY PUGH CURTIS

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES #6

            Here is test #6.Read the verses, please, and try to remember if you ever heard a sermon on them.  Probably not because they contradict popular ideas and 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).

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35).

These verses show just how far most churches are from theteaching of the New Testament.  Nearly all Protestants and many Baptists disobey theseplain words.  They allow women to speak in their church meetings.  Some even ordain women into theministry.  Feminists think this doctrine is against women and rail against it.  Some preachers who secretly believe this teaching are afraid of the women in their churches (and perhaps in their own homes) and therefore will not teach what the Bible says.  But this teaching is not against women.  It does not mean that women are inferior to men.  There are many women who are just plain smarter than men. Some are even smarter than their own husbands!  Many women are more talented than men, harder working, more creative, more ambitious, more successful, more knowledgeable, etc., and even more spiritually mature.  But God has an order which He commands and that is what this passage sets forth.  Just as a soldier of lower rank may be superior in all ways to the higher officers under whom he or she serves, and just as an employee may know more than his or her boss, so many women are superior to men.  The issue here is not a matter of superiority.  It is a matter of God’s order – an order He has commanded to be followed in churches.

The apostle also wrote, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:11-14).  The headship of man over woman in the churches is a matter of order.  Adam was created first.  Adam bore the responsibilityfor the first sin.  The woman was deceived.Adam sinned willfully.  His was the greater sin because of his responsibility before God as Eve’s head.Preachers maytry to explain away God’s order by saying that it was just a cultural matter of thosetimes or was just Paul’s opinion.  Paul destroyed that idea and all other liberal objections.  Just after he wrote that women are to be silent in church meetings, he wrote, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Cor. 14:37, 38).  So, if you think yourself a prophet (preacher) or consider yourself spiritual, Paul says you are to agree that his words on this matter “are the commandments of the Lord.”If you believe the Bible, you must agree that it is wrong for women to say anything in church meetings. They are to learn in silence. They are not to teach or usurp authority over the men.  (Usurp is an old word that means to take or hold office or power without legal right.  If a woman holds authority in a church over a man, she is a usurper.)

Paul finishes by saying, “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.”  Ignorance is a terrible thing.Especially is it harmful when it is ignorance of God’s Word. The consequences are catastrophic.  No wonder America’s families are in ruins and her churches powerless against sin.  God’s order is ignored.  How can preachers and churches think to please God when they continue knowingly, service after service,to break this commandment of the Lord by allowing women to speak in their meetings?  Repent of this disobedience! Obey this commandment of the Lord and “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40).

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

Authorized by the Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana

Ads paid for by authorizing Church and other Churches of like faith and practice

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES -5-PUGH CURTIS

FORBIDDEN SCRIPTURES #5

            Here is test #5.  Read the verses, please, and try to remember if you ever heard a sermon onthem:probably not.  Because they contradict popular ideas most preachers will not preach them, except to try to explain them away, assuring their hearers 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).

“…My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8).

God says, “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble”(Job 14:1).We are all bornboth spiritually dead and dying physically for “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).  All suffer the consequences of Adam’s disobedience!  That is one kind of suffering, but there is another.  First Peter 2:20 speaks of being buffeted for your own faults.  Let me illustrate that: a man gets drunk, wrecks his car,and loses his legs.  It is his fault.  God may forgive him, but He does not give him new legs.  He suffers the rest of his life for his own sin.

A third kind of suffering exists.Our text saysGod loves some people.  Because He loves them He disciplines them by means of suffering.  They are His sons. God “chasteneth and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”Hepurifiesall His childrenthis way.The phrase “whom the Lord loveth”speaks of one group of people and means there is another group.  God is not said to love these others.  He does notchasten them.  They are designated in the text as illegitimate. They are not true sons of God.  They sufferbecause of Adam’s sin. They also suffer the consequences of their own sins, but they receive no spiritual benefitfrom their sufferingnot beingchastened of God.  God just leaves them alone.

Did you ever hear a preacher at “invitation time” tell the lost that if they come to Christ they will be chastened and scourged: that God will put them through great trials and difficulties?  I thinkyou never have!  That wouldnot fit with the new, false gospel of enticing people to make a decision orto pray the magic prayer!  It just would not be enticing to the flesh!  Many preachers attempt to deceive people with enticing words (read 1 Cor. 2:4 and Col. 2:4).  They appeal to fleshly desires.  They promise a great family life, good health, prosperity,etc., etc., as well as eternal life,trying to get folksto come and pray “the prayer.”They do not tell them “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12) or “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Neither do they tell themthatJesus said “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household”(Matt. 10:34-36).Jesus meant that often some family members would reject Him and oppose their believing relatives causing great sorrow and trouble in the family circle.  In spite of these Bible truths, most preachers use smooth words that tickle the ears of pleasure-loving people promising them eternal life for a one-time prayer.  They do not preach that“God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psa. 7:11) or that God“hatest all workers of iniquity”(Psa. 5:5). Instead they do what no preacher in the New Testament ever did.  They falsely assure lost sinners that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives.They minister to the sinner’s pride.  As a result,proud people who are blind to their total depravity andinability to do anything pleasing to God,pray the magic prayermotivated only by carnal desires.  They are healed,butnever wounded.  They are saved before they are lost.  They do not “hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matt. 5:6). Thefalseness of their professions is seen after a time in their lives.  If God has not, may Heenlighten you to see the awfulness of sin – your sin – and give you the twin graces of repentance and faith.  Jesus said, “…except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).

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

Authorized by the Bible Baptist Church, Denham Springs, Louisiana

Ads paid for by authorizing Church and other Churches of like faith and practice

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