Serious Problems with TULIP

Salvation by grace, eternal salvation, without works, is a Bible doctrine. I believe hyper-Calvinism is not a Bible doctrine but is a perversion by proud intellectuals who thus may try to excuse themselves from any spiritual accountability for winning souls.

Hyper-Calvinism: A False Doctrine
By Dr. John R. Rice

Through the years there has been a conflict between the doctrine of eternal salvation by grace through faith, not of works, and the doctrine of salvation partly by God’s grace and partly by man’s works or by deserving it or by faithfulness. We know that all false religions teach salvation by good works, character, human merit, or rites, not the free salvation given instantly to penitent, believing sinners, wholly by grace. But many Christian groups tend to include works or mourning or faithfulness as the way to get saved and the price of keeping saved. Those who believe men must “hold out faithful” to keep saved and think they will never be surely eternally safe until they reach Heaven are of what is called the Armenian position because it was so insistently taught by Arminius. Wesley and his followers held to this position, as do all who think a saved person can be lost.

I. WHAT IS HYPER-CALVINISM?

Those who believe in eternal salvation wholly of grace are usually called Calvinists simply because, in the Protestant Reformation, Calvin strongly emphasized that doctrine long contradicted under the Roman heresy of salvation by merit and church rites. So any person who is not Armenian in faith but rather believes in eternal security of the believer is likely to describe himself as a Calvinist. Or where Calvinism has not been carried to its more unscriptural, unevangelistic, arrogant extreme, one might probably call himself a “moderate” Calvinist. Most of those who might be called Calvinists do not believe in a limited atonement, for example, nor do they believe that some are foreordained by unconditioned election to go to Hell and so could not be saved, that salvation was never provided for nor offered for them. But they do believe in eternal salvation by grace, the principal truth Calvin emphasized.

Those who do believe a doctrine of God’s limited love, limited grace, limited atonement, and unchangeable plan to damn millions who could not be saved, are called hyper-Calvinists.

These extreme doctrines were first taught somewhat by Augustine. Then for about a thousand years no one found them in the Bible, of course, till Calvin developed such a theology. Adopting the theory men then persuaded themselves that they find it in the Bible.

Salvation by grace, eternal salvation, without works, is a Bible doctrine. I believe hyper-Calvinism is not a Bible doctrine but is a perversion by proud intellectuals who thus may try to excuse themselves from any spiritual accountability for winning souls.

II. EXAMINE THE DOCTRINE OF HYPER-CALVINISM

Those whom we call hyper-Calvinists usually outline their doctrinal position as represented by the letters TULIP:

  • T for Total Depravity of the sinner
  • U for Unconditional Election
  • L for Limited Atonement
  • I for Irresistible Grace
  • P for Perseverance of the saints

Sinners Are Depraved, Cannot Be Saved Unless God Calls,
but All Have Some Light, Some Calling
The hyper-Calvinist says sinners are totally depraved and so incapable of repentance except as God calls some selected individuals, and leaves others He has predestined for Hell, unable to repent.

Now the doctrine that all are sinful, incapable of being saved or doing good without God’s help, is true. But it is certainly not true that some never could repent, that God leaves some intentionally without light or calling. Consider these Scriptures:

a. “God… now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). Can anyone accuse God of commanding people to do what He has made it impossible for them to do?

b. The apostle said, after hearing of Cornelius’ conversion, “Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). God granted repentance to the Jews; now they see repentance is granted “to the Gentiles” — not to a few selected individuals, but to the Gentiles, as to Jews.

c. In John 1:9 we are told about Jesus, “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” So every man in the world has light from God and from Christ, and so could be saved.

d. In John 12:32,33, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.” When Jesus draws “all men” unto Him, then any one of “all men” could be saved.

e. Romans 1:18-21 says that after the flood, the races became heathen, idolaters, barbarians, and are without excuse because the truth of God was manifested unto them. It says:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened”
f. Psalm 19:1-4 tells us:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.”
So there is a speech in nature to turn men to seek God. It speaks in all the world and every man is therefore accountable to God for it.

g. Romans 2:11-16 says:

“For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be jasitfied. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another,) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
Does that not mean that every person in the world is warned from God, either by the Word or by God speaking through the law He has written in their hearts, that is, their consciences?

And God, in this matter, has “no respect of persons,” we are told here, giving every man alike a call to be saved. All who seek more light find enough light even as Cornelius did in Acts 10.

Man’s sinfulness does not mean some men could not be saved.

h. We are told that “the gospel of Christ… is the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). And again Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Does not that Scripture surely mean that the Scriptures themselves call men to repentance? And would you say, like the neo-orthodox teachers who do not accept the Bible as objectively the Word of God, that it becomes the Word of God to individuals only as it affects them? No, the very nature of the powerful Word of God, “sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow,” means that it acts upon all who hear it. And again, we read in I Corinthians 1:21 that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” And that means, of course, the preaching of the Gospel of the Word of God. The Word of God itself has supernatural power to affect the lost sinner, and it needs only to be “mixed with faith” (Heb. 4:9.) to save the sinner.

So every lost sinner is in some sense lighted by Jesus who “lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9), is somewhat moved by his conscience, is preached to by the creation about him, and when he hears the Word of God he is called by that. Then the fact of the depravity of every lost sinner does not mean there are some sinners who cannot be saved.

“Unconditional Election” Is Not Bible Doctrine
It is true the saved are God’s elect, “chosen… in him before the foundation of the world,” as Ephesians 1:4 tells us. But it is wrong to make this election a whim of God whereby He saves some, compels them to be saved, and damns some whom He has decided He does not wish to save. No, election is not “unconditional.” It is simply that God knows who will trust Him when they hear the Gospel and chooses them to be carried through till they be “conformed to the image of his Son.”

Romans 8:28-30 tell. us so; thus:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
God gives the order of things here. First, foreknowledge, then predestination, then calling, then saving, then finally, at the resurrection, glorifying. To ignore or to change the inspired, divine order is false doctrine. Again, I Peter 1:2 says that the saints addressed were “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” That is a flat contradiction of so-called “unconditional election.” Election is based on God’s foreknowledge of who will trust Christ. So salvation depends upon personal faith in Christ.

The Term “Limited Atonement” Really Means Limited Love, Limited Grace of God,
and So Slanders God, and Is Unscriptural
The heart of hyper-Calvinist doctrine is the “Limited Atonement” claim, that Christ did not die for all men, made no provision for them so they could possibly be saved. It really claims that God did not love all men enough to have Christ die for all, that His grace is limited, so is finite instead of infinite. But this is contradicted by many plain Scriptures.

a. John 3:16 says that “God so loved THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son” — that it was so that “whosoever” could believe on Him and be saved. No limited love or atonement in John 3:16!

b. In John 1:29 we read the inspired statenent of John the Baptist about Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” Since Christ atoned for “the sin of the world,” not just part of the sin of the world, it could not be a limited atonement.

c. First John 2:2 plainly says, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” No limited atonement there!

d. Romans 5:20 says, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Does not that mean God has grace for all the sin in the world, and even a great surplus? So the total number of people who will ever be born on the earth is a finite counted number that God knows. But the grace of God is infinite, much more than for those who will be saved, even much more than for all the sins of all the people in the world, so says the plain Word of God. Romans 5:20 leaves no limit on the atonement

e. First Timothy 4:10 tells of “the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” To those who believe, Christ is a special, personal, accepted Saviour. But to all who have not believed He is potentially and intentionally a Saviour. When God says in the Bible that He has provided a “Saviour of all men,” what an arrogant wresting of Scriptures it is to say He did not provide and offer salvation for all!

f. Colossians 1:20 tells us that Christ, “having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Note that that verse speaks, not of all accepting Christ, but of atonement for all, amnesty offered every rebel, a peace treaty prepared to end the war between God and the sinner. If Christ, “through the blood of his cross,” intended “to reconcile all things unto himself,” as that verse says, who dares put a limit on that atoning blood, so offered for all?

God’s Grace Is Not Irresistible;
Some Are Not Compelled to Be Saved Unconditionally,
Others Compelled to Be Damned
The fourth part of the doctrine of hyper-Calvinism, represented by the letter “I” in TULIP, is “Irresistible Grace,” by which it is meant that all who are elected to be saved will be saved, that they cannot resist this special grace limited to them but will be saved when God calls. It would necessarily follow, first, that those not elected are irresistibly damned, cannot be saved; and, second, that since God works irresistibly to save or damn, Christians cannot affect the salvation or damnation of sinners and need feel no responsibility or burden about it. But this is wrong, unscriptural, and no doubt Satan uses this doctrine of “Irresistible Grace” to lull Christians to disobedience and lack of compassion and burden to get people saved.

Consider these Scriptures which prove sinners can and do resist God’s grace and many are lost who could be saved, and refuse Christ.

a. In II Peter 3:9 we read, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” Then God desires all men to be saved. And as we showed in section 1, all are enlightened to some degree, and called.

So many resist the grace of God.

b. We are commanded to pray for “all men,” says I Timothy 2:1, and verses 3 and 4 tell us, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” We should pray for all men because God our Saviour “will have all men to be saved.” So God would have all saved, but some will not be saved. So God’s grace may he resisted.

c. We are told that Jesus wept over Jerusalem and told the sadness of His heart that His love and grace were refused. He said, in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Jesus said, “I would,” “and ye would not.” So His grace was rejected. It was not irresistible.

d. In Proverbs 1:24,25, we have a clear statement that God, personified as Wisdom, calls and men refuse. That Scripture says, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof.” And the context plainly teaches that the refusal is final and those who so refused God’s wisdom and “did not choose the fear of the Lord” went to destruction. Surely, then, people do reject the call of God and resist His grace.

e. Paul says in Galatians 2:21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God?” That clearly shows then that those Galatian teachers who teach salvation by the law do frustrate the grace of God. Grace is not irresistible.

And did not you, my reader, long resist God’s grace? Only very few were saved the first time they heard the Gospel at the first conviction of sin they felt! Did you not for a time resist God’s grace? One who resists one time may resist the last time. And so many continue to resist and are lost forever.

f. In fact, the unpardonable sin is surely the sin of a lost man or woman, greatly enlightened and convicted, who comes to a final and irrevocable choice so that God’s Spirit gives him up. Genesis 6:3 says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man.”He does strive — resisted to a certain point He sometimes strives no more, so the sin is unpardonable. If the Spirit who strives, then when men resist, may cease forever striving, then grace is not irresistible.

Hebrew 6:4-6 says, I think, the same thing:

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers af the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame”
The term “partakers of the Holy Ghost,” Dr. Scofield says, here is “Gr. metochous, going along with.” So the Scripture here speaks of one not born of the Spirit but one who is followed, warned, convicted by the Holy Spirit going along with him. He has felt or “tasted” the “powers of the world to come,” we are told; has “tasted the good word of God,” but refuses Christ, still falls away from that conviction and, after coming to the verge of repentance, turns from it; it is impossible to renew such an one to repentance. So it is with those who, called, convicted, brought to the very crisis of decision, decide finally, eternally against Christ. Oh, every sinner who commits the unpardonable sin does resist the grace of God to the last. So we think did Pharaoh, Judas and, we think, those Pharisees of Matthew 12:24-32 who said Jesus cast out devils by Beelzebub but in heart knew better and blasphemously fought the Holy Spirit who convicted them. God’s grace is not irresistible.

The Saints Do Finally Persevere
The P in TULIP stands for final “Perseverance” of the saints. In this, all Bible believers must agree if we mean simply that those who are saved have everlasting life. I think a better way to say it is the Preservation of the saints. I do not believe Christians always do right. They do not get salvation by works and they cannot keep it by works. So our righteousness is the righteousness of Christ who died in our place, paid for all our sins, and gives us eternal life freely when we believe on Christ. So John 5:24 says plainly, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

So in John 10:27-29 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

And Paul the apostle could say by infallible inspiration, “… for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (II Tim. 1:12).

III. WHY FOLLOW MEN?

Do you follow Arminius? or Wesley? Then you are certain to be wrong wherever those good but frail men were wrong. Do you follow Calvin? Then whatever doctrine Calvin formulated or invented will be wrong for you as for him.

Charles Spurgeon, great and blessed London preacher, was a Calvinist though he spoke against “hyper-Calvinism,” and called it that; and his hyper-Calvinist friends criticized him for preaching that “whosoever will” may come.

In his sermon on Sunday morning, March 24, 1861, on Isaiah 1:18, Spurgeon said:

OUR TEXT ADDRESSED TO SINNERS OF THE DEEPEST DYE

Some of my brethren are greatly scandalized by the general invitations which I am in the habit of giving to sinners, as sinners. Some of them go the length of asserting that there are no universal invitations in the Word of God. Their assertion, however, is not so forcible an argument as a fact, and we have one here. Here is most plainly an invitation addressed to sinners who had not even the qualification of sensibility. They did not feel their need of a Saviour. They had been scourged and flogged till the whole body was a mass of sores, and yet they would not turn to the Hand that smote them, but went on sinning still. A more accurate description of careless, worthless, ungodly, abandoned souls, never was given anywhere. We have in the context one of the most graphic descriptions of human nature in its utterly lost and godless estate. There is not a single gleam of light in the midst of the thick darkness. The man is bad-bad-bad from the beginning to the end. Nay, he is all the worst, and the worst is come to its worst. There is not a ray of promise in their nature, not a glimmer of anything good in the description of the persons to whom this text is addressed.

So Spurgeon did not really believe all the points of hyper-Calvinism, did not believe that some sinners are not called or could not repent.

<>In the same sermon, he says,

Furthermore, I think that in giving this description, I shall be better preaching the Gospel than during the other parts of the sermon. Let me remind you that the invitation of the text is sent to men who appeared to have been totally depraved from the sole of the foot even to the head. [The emphasis is Spurgeon’s.]

Again, in the same sermon, Spurgeon said,

Yes, Mercy Offered to “Every One of You”

I have a big net this morning — Oh, that we might all be caught in its meshes! There is not one of us today who can be exempt from this invitation; not even that poor soul yonder who shivers in his shoes because he fears that he has committed the unpardonable sin, —

None are excluded hence, but those
Who do themselves exclude;
Welcome the learned and polite,
The ignorant and rude.
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you,” said Peter. As John Bunyan puts it — one man might have stood up in the crowd and said, “But I helped to hound Him to the cross! …. Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” “But I drove the nails into His hands!” saith one. “Every one of you,” says Peter. “But I pierced His side!” said another. “Every one of you,” said Peter. “And I put my tongue into my cheek and stared at His nakedness and said, ‘If He be the Son of God, let Him come down from the cross.'” …. Every one of.you,” said Peter. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” I do feel so grieved at many of our Calvinistic brethren; they know nothing about Calvinism, I am sorry to say, for never was any man more caricatured by his professed followers than John Calvin. Many of them are afraid to preach from Peter’s text, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.” When I do it, they say, “He is unsound.”

Well, if I am unsound on this point, I have all the Puritans with me — the whole of them almost without a single exception. John Bunyan first and foremost preaches to Jerusalem sinners; and Charnock, you know, has written a book, The Chief of Sinners, Objects of the Choicest Mercy. But I do not care for that; I know the Lord has blessed my appeals to all sorts of sinners, and none shall stay me in giving free invitations as long as I find them in this Book. And I do cry with Peter this morning to this vast assembly, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ …. For the promise is unto you, and to your children… even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

So Spurgeon was a Calvinist and said so, but he did not accept all the doctrines of hyper-Calvinism, and he said so.

In truth, the false doctrines of hyper-Calvinism would not do so much harm if they were emphasized as little as Spurgeon emphasized them, and particularly, if those who advocate them worked unceasingly to win souls as Spurgeon did.

But why follow Spurgeon? He was human. He was an amazing preacher, an evangelist. Some think he was the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul. But when he was wrong he was wrong. He plainly said he did not know enough about the return of Christ to preach on it. No man is perfect. It would be as foolish to follow Spurgeon in whatever part of the false doctrine of hyper-Calvinism he believed as to follow him in smoking cigars. He saw the error of smoking a little while before he went to Heaven, and I am sure he saw the errors of hyper-Calvinism, besides those he himself criticized, as soon as he reached Heaven. Why not just follow the Bible instead of Arminius or Calvin or Wesley or Spurgeon?

IV. GOD NEVER IS PARTY TO SIN, NEVER ARRANGES SO ONE MUST SIN

Did God plan every evil, every sin that men have ever committed? Did God predestine Adam and Eve to sin? Did He plan and bring about the rebellion of Satan, once Lucifer, an angel of light; and did He bring about the fall of the angels that fell? We must agree that God knew all the future, but can we say that all the sin really originated in the heart and planning of God? No! Surely such a thought is abhorrent to every spiritual mind. The Bible does not teach it.

God planned and elected much in the lives of all men, but not the sin. Men themselves do not have to sin. They sin because they are sinful and can choose to sin, or choose the path that leads to sin.

A man cannot choose the date of his birth, nor the place he is born, nor his parents. He cannot choose the color of his eyes, the shape of his face, the talents or limitations with which he may be born. Many of the things that happen to one he cannot control, but on moral issues, issues of right and wrong, man can choose and must choose. Election does not settle the choice anyone makes about sin or salvation.

Four great truths show that man is not coerced to sin, that sin and rejection of Christ are moral issues in which man always has a choice.

There Are God’s Commands Which Men Can Obey or Disobey
God never commands a man to “be born in Chicago on June 30th.” God settles that, with the person affected having no choice, no responsibility to obey or refuse. But on moral matters, right and wrong are clearly set forth in God’s commands. The “Thou shalt not’s” of the Bible show that on moral issues men have a choice to make and do make a choice.

God Gives Man a Conscience to Tell Him Right and Wrong
The Scripture says, “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Prov. 20:27). On other matters men must decide; with no moral issue involved, a man does not have inward light always. Should he buy this house at this price? Should he have a Ford car or a Chevrolet? Conscience has no answer. One may ask God for wisdom and have help, but conscience says only, “This is right” or “That is wrong.” So “that little spark of celestial fire called conscience” proves God gives inward light so one can choose right on issues of moral and spiritual duty. Men are not so predestined that they must sin or must reject Christ.

A Way of Escape From Sin Always Provided
Has God made man so, and provided circumstances so that a man can not avoid sinning in a given instance? No, for we are plainly told in I Corinthians 10:12,13,

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”
So if one takes heed he need not fall. Always a way of escape is provided. God is faithful to not only allow one to take heed and choose not to sin, but also makes a way of escape in every case. In any particular case men may have help, may escape sin. So men are not predestined to sin or to reject the Saviour.

Men Come to Judgment for Their Sins, Are Accountable, So They Need Not Blame God Nor Predestination for Sins
For every idle word men shall come to judgment, Jesus said (Matt 12:36). And Revelation 20:12 tells us that the unsaved dead will be judged “according to their works,” which are meticulously recorded. Does not that prove that in moral matters man is accountable and must choose?

God chose Jacob to head a nation for Him, and rejected Esau. That was predestined before they were born (Rom. 9:11-13). But Esau, while rejected as head of a tribe through which God would bring the Saviour, was not predestined to go to Hell, and for all we know may have been saved.

Pharaoh was a wicked, murderous man, and in the matter of letting Israel go from Egypt, God had raised him up to make an example of him and kill him ( Rom. 9:17,18). But there is no evidence that God predestined him to go to Hell. He could have chosen to be saved. Knowing ahead of time what Pharaoh would do, God planned to make an example of His destruction of a wicked king.

Hyper-Calvinism is unscriptural, false doctrine. It tends to flourish in intellectual pride and in neglect of soul winning, and is a symptom of moral guilt. It is Satan’s effort to kill concern and compassion for souls.

 

Predestination, Foreknowledge and Election

Predestination, Foreknowledge and Election

by Dr. Mark G. Cambron

       There are so many theories today concerning foreknowledge, predestination and election. The mind of the normal and average Christian is so mixed up that he really doesn’t know what to believe. If we do not get these three doctrines straight, our whole Christian life will be warped, and soul winning will become a lost grace. Let us turn first to the foreknowledge of God. Editor’s Note: To say there are many views about these subjects is surely an understatement. Sadly, most Christians have little or no interest in these terms and, naturally are not aware there are serious discussions in the church and in books. Dr. Mark Cambron was a noted Bible teacher and served some years as a dean at Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga. I learned of him long years ago when I was pastor of a church in Lumpkin, GA. Later years found Dr. Cambron heading up a ministry where he reached out to Jews and won many to the Lord. His message here is worthy of your time to read his understanding of these important Bible words and their meaning. Dr. Cambron died in 2000.

THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

Foreknowledge means to have knowledge of things to be. Foreknowledge is an attribute of God, while Predestination and Election are acts of God. Only God knows the future. And He does know the future. He wouldn’t be God if He didn’t, but the fact that He knows who is going to be saved, and who isn’t going to be saved, does NOT determine who is going to be saved and who is going to be lost. Someone may ask, ”If God does know who is and who isn’t going to be saved, how, then, can the sinner get out of it?” Foreknowledge, in Scripture, never determines what is to be – foreknowledge is only the knowledge of things to be beforehand. It is the same with our scientists, they can tell when there is to be an eclipse of the sun or of the moon: on a certain day at a certain hour, minute and second; but the scientists do not bring about the eclipse. God has foreknowledge, and by this foreknowledge knows the future, but that is where it ends.

Of course God knows everything! He knows the very number of the hairs of our heads. He knows the number of the stars and calleth them by name. God knows everything, including the future. And, not only that, but God knows what would have happened if things had happened that didn’t happen. He knows the results of all possibilities. The same is illustrated when David inquired of the Lord concerning his enemy. If he should go to one place, would the enemy be there? God said they would. So David went in another direction. Foreknowledge simply means to possess knowledge of things to be.

THE PREDESTINATION OF GOD

Here is where many of the saints falter in their Christian witnessing. They read something or other in the Word about predestination and then reason that God predestinates some people to be saved, and thus predestinates some people to be lost. That is not the case. To begin with, predestination is never for the lost man, to be saved or to be lost; but rather, predestination is for the saved man. We have only to read our Bibles, and read the context where it is speaking of predestination, to clearly understand that Salvation is, indeed, a personal matter based upon the “whosoever wills.”

As stated before, Predestination is for the saved man. God knows who is going to be saved, and thus He has predestinated certain blessings for those who are going to get saved by faith. In other words, God draws a circle, figuratively speaking, and says that whosoever believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will get in that circle. So the believer, upon his faith in Jesus Christ, steps into the circle. Then God says, figuratively speaking, “Whosoever is in that circle by faith, I have predestinated that they shall receive these blessings,” and here they are:

“TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.”

“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29a). This one of the blessings God has predestinated for the believer – that the believer is going to be fashioned, made, transformed, transfigured into the likeness of the image of Jesus Christ. The things you might be suffering at this moment are happening to you (Rom. 8:28) to make you more like Jesus. And at the rapture, whether we be dead or alive at His coming, we are all going to be changed and be wholly like unto Christ.

“UNTO THE ADOPTION OF CHILDREN BY JESUS CHRIST.”

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:5). Again we want to state that predestination is the predetermined blessings for the saved man and has nothing to do with salvation. Now, in the above text, we are told that the Christian is predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ. It doesn’t say that the sinner was predestinated to become a child of God; no, but rather the saint has been predestinated unto the adoption of children.

To get a better idea of this great truth, it is well to explain the meaning of adoption. In America and England, when we adopt a child, we go by legal means and take a child of another family and get the court to make it our own. But not so with Jewish family, nor with the ancient Roman and Greek family. These adopted their own children. Adoption simply means “to declare as a son,” or “son placed.” The fourth chapter of Galatians clearly defines the meaning of adoption. It is the time appointed by the father when his boy ceases to be considered a child and becomes a recognized son. According to even present day Jewish custom it is called BAR MITZVAH – declared to be a Son of the Law, Son of Blessing. The boy becomes of age after his thirteenth birthday, on the day selected by the father. So it is with us: we are children of God, but we are waiting our BAR MITZVAH, our adoption, the time when our Heavenly Father will declare us of age and place us as Sons before the whole universe: “even we ourselves groan within ourselves, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY” (Rom. 8:23). This is one blessing that God has predestinated for the saved man, for all who are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ – that we all shall be declared to be of age and as His SONS – at the resurrection!

“PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM.”

Here is the third blessing for the child of God – “that which God has predestinated for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith: “Being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Eph. 1:11, 12). You will notice that it is not salvation the Holy Spirit is speaking about, but that which is for those who are saved. So many fail to read the 12th verse; herein is what God has predestinated – that we should be to the praise of His glory; Nowhere do we find predestination for, or not for, salvation.

ELECTION

“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.” (Eph. 1:4) The New Testament words “chosen, choose, and election” are the same. The Old Testament word is simply “chosen.” From the above Scripture many have felt that God chooses some to be saved and some to be lost. Again I want to point out that predestination and election (choosing) have nothing to do with the lost, but are for the saved.

From the following Scriptures we learn what the choosing, or election, of God is about:” For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but 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 THEYOUNGER. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Rom. 9:9-13).

At once we point out that election, or choosing, has to do with service; THE ELDER SHALL SERVE THE YOUNGER. It does not say, “The younger shall be saved, and the elder shall be lost.” No, but simply, “the elder shall SERVE the younger.” Thus choosing, or election, has to do with service. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” wasn’t said of these two men before they were born, but hundreds of years after they died.

God hated the descendants of Esau because of their unbelief, and loved the descendants of Jacob because of their faith.

In the 15th chapter of John’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus said that He had chosen (elected) them disciples. For salvation? No, for service. Even Judas was chosen! For damnation? No, but like Pharaoh, who was a fit vessel unto wrath – after being given many chances to believe, refused, and thus was used for God’s purpose.

The prophet Isaiah says that Israel is God’s chosen people (Isaiah 41:8). Does this mean that all Jews are saved? No. It simply means that God has chosen Israel for a service. And we know what that service was: to give us the Word of God and to give us the Lord Jesus Christ!

The same prophet, Isaiah, says that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Chosen Servant of God (Isaiah 42:1). Does this mean that God chose the Lord Jesus to be saved? Of course not! For He is the SAVIOUR! But God did choose His Son for a service – and that service was to be the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world. And He was the obedient Servant, being obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross!

Now back to the original text, as found in Ephesians 1:4. What has God elected or chosen us for? Not salvation; but He has chosen us even before the foundation of the world (He knew that we would believe on His Son) for service – “that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

Thus, we conclude that God does not predestinate or elect men to be saved or lost, but that salvation is on the basis of “WHOSOEVER WILL!“- “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17).

Other teachings from the Scriptures by Dr. Mark G. Cambron  (Click the Link below)

http://thecambroninstitute.org/index.cfm?action=library

About Dr. Mark Cambron

Dr. Mark G. Cambron, B.A., M.A., Th.B., Th.M., Th.D., D.D., L.L.D., Litt.D., was one of the foremost theologians of our times. Born in Fayetteville, Tennessee on July 31, 1911. He was born-again in 1919. It was during a Billy Sunday campaign in Chattanooga that he trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He was educated in the schools of Chattanooga, attended the University of Chattanooga, Tennessee Temple College and is a graduate of Northwestern Bible School and Northwestern Evangelical Seminary. He was an assistance in the 1940’s to W. B. Riley at First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Northwestern Bible School / Evangelical Seminary. He Pastored in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and in Tennessee. He served for many years at Tennessee Temple College (1948-59) with Dr. Lee Roberson and served as Dean of the College. In 1962, Dr. A. Ray Stanford and Dr. Cambron started Florida Bible College. From 1962 -1977, Dr. Cambron served as Co-Founder, Vice President, President and President/Emeritus of Florida Bible College. In 1961, Dr. Cambron was Founder and President of Seaside Mission and was heard weekly and in some areas, daily over the Messiah Broadcast.. He served as it’s President for forty years. Dr. Mark Cambron was a faithful minister of the gospel. For over fifty years he preached, “Come Lord Jesus.” On May 24, 2000, The Lord Jesus said, “Mark, Come Home, great is your reward.”  


Sick? Why Doesn’t God Heal You?

Why Doesn’t God Heal All the Sick?

by Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

 

Robert L Sumner
Robert L Sumner

Divine healing is a widely debated subject about which considerable difference of opinion exists – and even greater confusion and misunderstanding. However, it would not be much of a Christian who did not believe in at least some form of divine healing, since the Word of God so plainly teaches it. As a matter of fact, all healing is at least indirectly “divine” healing. Sometimes God heals through natural means, such as doctors and medicines. But sometimes God heals directly and supernaturally in answer to prayer without any human instrumentality whatsoever. 

Several years ago – over a half-century, in fact – while preparing a Constitution and Articles of Faith for a church I was pastoring in Texas, I wrote the following for its doctrinal statement: “We believe that sickness is a proper subject of prayer; that God often miraculously heals the body in answer to prayer; that He often, but not necessarily, uses medicine as the means for the healing; that it is not always God’s will to heal.” I believed that with all my heart then; I believe it just as thoroughly today!  

In this message, however, I want to center our thinking around that latter statement: “It is not always God’s will to heal. Some devout but misguided Christians have mistakenly thought that all sickness is a form of chastening – the result of some particular sin in the life – and that it is always God’s will to heal. In their reasoning, if the sick one will confess his or her sin, honestly repent and turn from it, then God will heal. But this is definitely not what the Bible teaches! Note with me first, 

I. GOD DOES NOT HEAL 

 ALL THE SICK!  

Perhaps the Bible’s outstanding illustration of God’s refusal to heal pertains to the Apostle Paul. In II Corinthians 12:7-10, he testified: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 

What Paul’s “thorn” was we are not told, aside from the fact that it was some trouble “in the flesh.” In other words, it was a physical problem, a crisis in his body. It might have been some form of eye trouble, since he obviously did have a problem with his sight. Writing to the churches of Galatia, he recalled: “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me” (Galatians 4:13-15). Naturally, if he had 20/20 vision there would have been no need for someone in Galatia to offer an “eye transplant,” of course. Paul apparently was afflicted with opthalmia, a very common eye disease in the East. This may have been his thorn. At any rate, note the confession of his “infirmity of the flesh.” Or perhaps Paul’s thorn was a speech impediment, since we read in II Corinthians 10:10, “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (emphasis added). 

Obviously, we are not told exactly what Paul’s physical infirmity was for the simple reason that God did not want us to have that information. If He had wanted us to know, He would have told us. Perhaps God did not definitely state the trouble so that all of us could find comfort and consolation in our own physical infirmities, of whatever nature they happen to be. The point of the matter is that on three separate, distinct occasions Paul cried to God for deliverance from this thorn. He said, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” Each time the answer was the same: “NO!”Paul, who had been used so greatly by God in the healing of others, could gain no deliverance for himself. God refused to grant him the healing others had enjoyed.  

Let me emphasize here that Paul was not to blame for that failure. It was not a matter of his weak faith, since few individuals have ever possessed the triumphant faith Paul had. Nor was it a matter of sin in his life. Of all the characters in the Word of God, Paul stands among the top in matters of holiness and purity. Neither was it a matter of being out of the will of God. Paul, the special ambassador of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, was walking hand-in-hand with God in devoted, consecrated service. Neither was it a matter of being made shipwrecked by Satan, as in the case of Hymenæus and Alexander. It just simply was not God’s will for Paul to be healed! 

As a matter of fact – and this may surprise you – thank God Paul was not healed! According to his own testimony, if he had been healed, he would have lost his humility and become proud. If he had been healed, he would have lost his strength and become weak. If he had been healed, he would have lost his power and become helpless. If he had been healed, he would have lost that portion of God’s glory which rested upon him in his suffering. Yes, how wonderful it was that God refused to answer Paul’s prayer with divine healing. Trophimus is another Bible illustration of God’s refusal to heal the sick. In II Timothy 4:20, where the Apostle Paul mentions various mutual acquaintances to the young preacher, Timothy, we read, “Erastus abode at Corinth; but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” Paul, the flaming apostle, the mighty miracle-worker, the man of God extraordinary, the one who had even raised the dead, left his brother in the Lord, his co-laborer in the ministry, sick at Miletum. He did not heal him. Apparently he could not heal him. It simply was not God’s will.  

Timothy himself is still a further example. In I Timothy 5:23, Paul advised him, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Without taking time to answer those who find in this statement a justification for booze-guzzling, let me simply say that this medical prescription for a man in the first century is literally, “Drink no longer water alone, but mixed with a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (No lover of intoxicating wine would stand for mixing water with his fermented wine, of course! Actually, since the drinking water in that region of Asia Minor was so strong in alkaline content, Paul was merely telling him to add some of the heavy grape syrup, always available in the area, to his drinking water as an aid to digestion.) But our point here is that Timothy had a stomach disorder – and God refused to heal him. Apparently, since Paul referred to his “often infirmities,” he was not only sick, but sickly.  

Just like Paul, Trophimus and Timothy, there are some today that God has refused to heal. This does not mean that they are more wicked than some who enjoy good health. Nor does it necessarily mean that God is chastening them, although He sometimes – yea, oft-times – does chasten through sickness. To put it bluntly, the reason God doesn’t heal all the sick – even the Christian sick – is because He does not want to! He has a purpose in that sickness and He means it for the afflicted one’s good. As Romans 8:28 conveys it, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

II. GOD’S BLESSING OF STRENGTH SOMETIMES  

COMES THROUGH SICKNESS! 

Remember what Paul said in II Corinthians 12:9, 10: “And [God] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities … for when I am weak, then am I strong” (emphasis added). Paul was happy in trouble because his physical infirmity afforded an opportunity for divine strength. He discovered that the weakerhe became, the more powerful in Christ he could become. He testified that it was through this infirmity that the power of Christ rested upon him. That is, it covered him like a tent. The marginal note of my English Revised Version of 1881 states that the Greek for the phrase, “rest upon me,” is “spread a tabernacle over me.” Thus, with this complete baptism of God’s power upon him, he could triumphantly exclaim, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities!” 

Paul opened this epistle talking about this very thing. He wrote: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer, or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. . But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (II Corinthians 1:5-7, 9). There is something about it: when you get down to the place where you are helpless in yourself, you find yourself in a position where it is mighty easy to trust the Lord and seek His divine strength! 

In Philippians 3:10 Paul wrote, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (emphasis added). Do not murmur or complain if God sees best to make you conformable to the fellowship of His sufferings. Instead, follow the example of the Word of God and rejoice. Romans 5:3-5 puts it this way: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” 

Tribulation – no matter its form, even sickness – works patience. The idea of patience in this particular passage is that of steadfastness. So, as Paul and others have discovered, God’s blessing of strength frequently comes through sickness.  

III. GOD’S BLESSING OF FRUITFULNESS SOME-  

TIMES COMES THROUGH SICKNESS! 

How greatly the world has been blessed through the influence of suffering saints. I think of Fanny Crosby, who penned literally thousands of gospel songs and hymns, hundreds of which are still enjoyed around the world at this hour. It is entirely possible that no one would have ever heard of Fanny Crosby if it had not been for the fact that she became blind when only six months old and remained in physical darkness until her eyes were opened in Heaven’s brightness. I think, too, of Martha Snell Nicholson and the pages of beautiful verse which flowed from her pen. Yet she was bedridden much of her life, crippled for years with painful arthritis. The same was true of Annie Johnson Flint, another gifted saint whose pungent stanzas of Christian verse have blessed so many hearts and lives. She, too, like Martha Snell Nicholson, was afflicted with a bitter and painful arthritic condition.  

The truth of the matter is that some of our greatest hymns, poems and choicest pieces of Christian literature dropped from the pens of those who suffered most. Paul Hutchens, who discovered he had an advanced case of tuberculosis just as God was beginning to use him in great evangelistic campaigns, expressed it: “If blind Milton could write Paradise Lost; if John Bunyan in Bedford jail could writePilgrim’s Progress; if Luther imprisoned in Wartburg castle could translate the entire New Testament in the German language; if Robert Louis Stevenson, tubercular, suffering with sciatica, one arm in a sling, sentenced to absolute silence and darkness, could produce The Child’s Garden of Verses ; if Paul, confined to a Roman prison and chained to a guard twenty-four hours a day, could still proclaim the gospel – if these men under such mighty handicaps could and did dare to make progress and history, why should not we?” 

Remember the truth set forth by our dear Savior in John 15:2, namely, “Every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” The husbandman does not prune the tree to hurt it with his knife, but to help it in becoming more fruitful. Unpruned vines and trees are not nearly as productive as the pruned. The same is true in the Christian realm. Dr. Walter Kallenbach was accidentally wounded in a Virginia hunting accident. Both eyes were shot out; pellets penetrated his skull and lodged in his brain, the latter resulting in seven months of complete paralysis. Pellets that penetrated the region of his gall bladder caused peritonitis and gangrene. The shots that went through his lung necessitated a rib resection. Lockjaw was another complication. For years the dear brother was confined to numerous hospitals where he underwent many operations, including several on his brain. Later he testified that the “why” of his sufferings – as he tried to minister the Word and serve his Lord in blindness – was a source of constant perplexing to him. But one day, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, he learned the answer. 

The caretaker of a large apple orchard called attention to one of the most profusely laden trees in the orchard, one so heavily burdened with fruit it forced the propping up of all its branches for support. How surprised was Kallenbach when the orchardist told him he had deliberately split the trunk of that tree wide open. Upon inquiry as to his motive for so doing, the husbandman replied: “We have learned that when a tree has nothing but branches and leaves, nothing but beautiful foliage and lumber, and no fruit, that if it is hurt, and wounded, then it will bear fruit.” Kallenbach then concluded: “Now I know why I have had to suffer and bear so many crosses, for how could I comfort you if I had never been comforted by God myself? Salvation is the source of my greatness; my sacrifices are my tests; and my service shall be my fruit.” 

Someone, I have no idea whom, wrote: 

“The vine demands strong purging

   If fruit is to be seen; 

The husbandman is urging 

   That branches be kept clean. 

He to the wall may pin us. 

   The vine may oft be bled: 

‘God will kill nothing in us 

   That is not better dead.’ 

“Have courage then my brother, 

   Though sharp may be the knife; 

The flesh may shrink and quiver, 

   And thou despair of life. 

God is at work within thee, 

   He will lift up thy head; 

‘God will kill nothing in thee, 

   That is not better dead.’”

 The thought that purging prepares for service is seen again in II Timothy 2:20, 21. There we read: “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Yes, God’s blessing of fruitfulness often comes through sickness and trouble. 

Again, 

IV. GOD’S BLESSING OF PURITY SOMETIMES COMES 

THROUGH SICKNESS 

We said earlier that sickness was not necessarily a result of chastening. On the other hand, sometimes it is!  And, in cases of sickness which are the result of chastening, note the truth of Hebrews 12:10: “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Chastening through sickness is intended only to make us “partakers of his holiness.”Peter was emphasizing the same truth when he wrote, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:12, 13). 

He wrote again, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10). The suffering is to make us better Christians, more settled, mature, established, strengthened. Job, whose name is almost synonymous with suffering and trouble, had the same testimony. He wrote: “But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, emphasis added).Jehovah taught this same truth to Israel. Through His prophet Isaiah He said: “I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin … Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 1:25; 48:10, emphasis added). In Psalm 119:67, the psalmist testified, “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.” Many today have the same testimony about how physical affliction brought them back from the folly of sinful straying. 

As the poet expressed it: 

“He sat by a furnace of sevenfold heat,

   As He watched by the precious ore, 

And closer He bent with a searching gaze 

   As He heated it more and more. 

“He knew He had ore that could stand 

the test 

   And he wanted the finest gold, 

To mold as a crown for the King to wear,

 Set with gems of price untold. 

“So He laid our gold in the burning fire 

   Tho’ we fain would say Him, ‘Nay’; 

And watch the dross that we had not seen 

   As it melted and passed away. 

“And the gold grew brighter and yet

more bright, 

   But our eyes were dim with tears; 

We saw the fire – not the Master’s hand, 

   And questioned with anxious fears. 

“Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow 

   As it mirrored a form above, 

That bent o’er the fire, tho’ unseen by us, 

   With a look of ineffable love. 

“Can we think it pleases His loving heart 

   To cause us a moment’s pain? 

Ah, no, but He sees through the present cross 

   The bliss of eternal gain. 

“So he waited there with a watchful eye, 

   With a love that is strong and sure, 

And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat

   Than was needed to make it pure.” 

Finally, 

V. CHRISTIANS CAN GLORIFY 

GOD THROUGH SICKNESS  

There is an abundance of Scripture teaching this truth. Jesus, in explaining to His disciples about the man who had been born blind, said: “Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). His blindness was for the glory of God. When Jesus received word from Mary and Martha of Bethany that their brother Lazarus was sick, He said: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4). That this sickness was for the glory of God – as was the subsequent death and resurrection – is evident from the forty-fifth verse of the same chapter, where we read, “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.” The sickness of Lazarus resulted in the salvation of many, many precious souls. 

Death, like sickness, can bring glory to God. After Jesus had told Peter how he would die, John 21:19 says, “This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God.” Do not despise physical affliction! Wise Solomon wrote, nearly three millenniums ago, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). God has some good purpose in your trouble, you may be sure. If you are on a bed of affliction, take comfort in God’s promise: “For I reckon that the sufferings on this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us … And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:18, 28).  

It may be that you cannot see any good in your present trouble. Nonetheless, the words of Peter are still pertinent: “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:13).Andrew Murray, a dear old saint of a past generation, wrote: “In times of trouble God’s trusting child may say: First: He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place; in that will I rest. Next: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child. Then: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in the grace He means to bestow. Last: In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. Say: I am here – (1) By God’s appointment. (2) In His keeping. (3) Under His training. (4) For His time.” 

In closing, let me ask again: are you troubled with physical infirmities?  Thank God for them! “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18). 

UNSHAKABLE

“Unshakable Things!”

 By Louis T. Talbot, D.D. (1889-1976)

Long Pastor, Church of the Open Door  President, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hebrews 12:27

 

Dr. Louis T. Talot
Dr. Louis T. Talot

It has been laid upon my heart to write about some unshakable things that stand in the midst of the confusion and changing scenes of this present day. No other word describes conditions everywhere like the word shaken. Everything has been shaken to its very foundations; this is true no matter where we turn, or into what realm we may enter. It is true of the financial world. People who, a few years ago, computed their wealth in six figures today have no fortune and barely the necessities of life. In these financial crises which are about us everywhere, more than one individual came to feel that the only way out of his dilemma was the unhappy way of self-destruction.  A survey of the political world will reveal the same conditions. Nothing is more unstable than present-day governments. Think of the situation in Palestine and China. Consider the odds against which the UNO is laboring.  Likewise, in the religious world many are at a loss to know what to believe in regard to the great doctrines of our faith. Few of the great verities for which multitudes have fought and bled are any longer considered worth contending for. The world of religions is a place of confusion, and similar to the financial and political worlds, is like a ship at sea without a rudder. 

My friends, these conditions in the world present an unparalleled opportunity to those who know God to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be a tragedy for anyone to go out of this life to stand before God without having used his time and talents in an honest effort to point men and women to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Christian people need not be perturbed, no matter what the future may hold. These are some things that are unshakable – as unwavering today as they ever were, and I want, as an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, to urge you to link your life with these verities so that you may be as the rock of Gibraltar − unmoved in your faith and a shining light to others. 

THE THRONE OF GOD 

The first of these unshakable things upon which I wish to dwell is the throne of God. In Hebrews 1:8 we read, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” We have seen other thrones topple and fall during two great world wars. Those that remain are becoming more and more insecure. We do not know what a day may bring forth. But there is a throne that is as unshakable as ever, and that is the throne of God. No matter what may take place in this world, or in the starry universe above, the throne of God in the center of the universe stands forever and cannot be shaken. Whatever his capabilities or lack of abilities may be, the man who acknowledges that throne and yields allegiance to it, will, even in this day, be as Mt. Zion which cannot be moved. The man who refuses to reckon with that throne, however learned and polished his life may be, will be spiritually bankrupt today and part of the chaos of the Christ-rejecting world. 

 

The trouble of our nation and the world is that we have turned away from God. All of our national and local problems are the inevitable result of our departure from His government. I submit to you that when men depart from the realization that they are under the personal control of the living God and that they must give a personal account for every word and every deed to Him, they naturally gravitate to the law of the jungle which says, “Do as you please; satisfy the desires of the flesh without regard for anybody. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we die.” That is the philosophy of life when God is forgotten, and behind the fact of a forgotten God there stands the explanation of crime and kindred ills that are sweeping our nation today.   

A man was riding along the road one day in a Ford when something went wrong and the car would go no farther. He looked at the engine, but could not find the trouble. He stood at the side of the road and stopped the first car that came by. It happened to be a Lincoln, and its driver said, “Well, what is the trouble?” “I cannot get this car to move,” the Ford owner replied. The man removed his gloves, took off his coat, and made a few moves beneath the hood and said, “Now start the car.” And sure enough the Ford was functioning again. The man had started back to his Lincoln when the one in the Ford said, “Pardon me, but what is your name?”  

“My name,” said the man, “is Henry Ford.”  

In this crisis hour we need the Creator of the world. The only hope is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In fact, we must choose between Him and chaos. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               THE WORD OF GOD 

The second unshakable thing is the Word of God. We read in Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” There was never a time when the Bible was attacked so fiercely as today, yet there was never a time when people had more reason to believe it to be the Word of God. Think of its fulfilled prophecies – prophecies concerning Christ, the Jewish nation, and the Gentile nations. Think of its marvelous unity. Think of its power to lift men from sin to fellowship with God. Water cannot rise any higher than its source, and the Book that can lift men up to God must come from God. Think of its indestructibility. All down through the ages men have been attempting to destroy the Bible, but it cannot be destroyed, because it came from God and therefore, like God, is eternal. The most scientifically correct book that this world has ever seen is the Bible. Science will never be able to disprove the divine order of the creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.  

I love to look at those words cut into the stone outside of the Bible Institute building: “For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” In this day, when people have more reason to believe the Bible to be the Word of God than ever before, if a man says to me that he does not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, I immediately class him as an ignoramus. The Bible is the world’s best seller. I wish to urge you to build your life upon the Word of the living God.  

THE CHURCH OF GOD 

The third unshakable thing I wish to mention is the church of God. My authority for this statement fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord made this statement after questioning His disciples as to whom the people in that day considered Him to be: He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:15-18). 

The Lord Jesus built His church on the great central fact of Christianity, which is His deity. That is where the church stands: not on the example of Christ, nor on Christ as a good man or a great Teacher, but on Christ as the eternal Son of the living God. And because of that everlasting foundation, the church is secure for time and for eternity. Every local assembly worthy of the name church has that foundation. Liberal bodies that deny the deity of Christ are not churches but simply clubs. The one and only church, the church which Christ is building is made up of men and women who confess Christ as the eternal Son of God and are washed in His precious blood. It stands forever. Christ’s church is called “His body,” to illustrate the mystical union between Christ, the Head, and His people.  

One day I boarded a streetcar and sat beside a man who was reading his Bible. We began to talk and the man said, “To which church do you belong?” I answered by asking, “What is your church affiliation?” He replied, “I am a Methodist. I was born a Methodist and I will die a Methodist.” Then he repeated his question, “What is your church?” My answer was, “I belong to the church which is His body.” The man looked puzzled as he said, “That is a new one. I never heard of it before. When was it organized?” My reply was, “It was organized 2,000 years ago.” When he asked, “Where are its headquarters?” and I answered, “In Heaven,” the poor man thought I had taken leave of my senses. When the Lord returns and the church is raptured, the only one that He will recognize will be that church. 

THE CHILD OF GOD 

The last unshakable thing that I wish to discuss is the child of God. “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:17). That was D. L. Moody’s favorite text, and he endeavored in life to put the will of God for him into execution. If you, by the grace of God, determine to do the same thing, you will abide forever. You ask, “What is the will of God for me?” The will of God begins with believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. The Lord said to certain ones, “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life” (John 6:40). After you have come to know Christ as your Savior, then you may speak to Him in regard to the sphere of your service. It may be that God will have you to go to Africa, or India, or China, or to some other needy field. The will of God is not only the holiest place but also the happiest place in which to dwell. It is said that following a consultation with a specialist, at which time he had been informed that he was the victim of an incurable disease and had only a few months to live, Dr. W. B. Hinson, the great gospel preacher, walked out into the garden of his home which he loved. Looking at the mountains reaching their majestic heads heavenward, and gazing in the direction of the mighty Columbia River, watching the sun as it slipped behind the everlasting hills, he said, “When the mountains have forever ceased to be exalted in the towering strength above the cities of the earth; when the river has run its last mile; and when the seas have passed forever from the universe; when the sun has risen and set in all its beauty and glory for the last time; yea, when the moon and all the stars have forever ceased to give their light; when the mighty trees of the forest have shed their last leaves, and all nature has departed to its final rest, I shall live on, yes, I shall live on.” 

We have also read of the great sadness that came into the heart of a noted English pastor who had shepherded his flock for forty consecutive years. With deep emotion and with quivering lip, the pastor had resigned his pastorate amid the shedding of many tears in his congregation. The next day the sexton was standing under the gallery in the great auditorium when he saw the pastor come out and step behind his much-loved pulpit. For a moment he stood there in profound agitation, and then with a trembling but confident voice, he said, “I must sever my connections with this church.” Then looking to Heaven and thinking of his eternal union with Christ, with upraised hand, he added: 

But this I do know,

 We two are so joined,

 He can’t be in Heaven,

 And leave me behind. 

These are dark days, possibly the darkest we have known for many a year. Let us lay hold as never before with a firm grip of unwavering faith upon these unshakable things, and spend our lives making them known with all of their meaning to a poor, lost, dying world.

Dr Talbot’s sermon was published in The Biblical Evangelist where Dr. Robert L. Sumner is the good editor.  Published in Vol. 41, Number 1, January – February 2010 issue.

 

 

10 THINGS PAUL WAS PERSUADED ABOUT

Jesse M Hendley
Jesse M Hendley

Jesse M. Hendley was educated at Georgia Tech, Columbia Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As one of America’s foremost evangelists, he has conducted numerous crusades throughout the United States and overseas. His 67 years of preaching include 14 years as pastor of the Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, which grew from 85 to 2,300 members under his ministry. For more than 63 years, he was the director of the Radio Evangelistic Hour gospel broadcast.
Dr. Hendley speaking of the Apostle Paul’s faith gives 10 things that he had become persuaded of that were true and would never be changed.

1) Death
Paul says, “I am persuaded that death cannot separate a child of God from the love of God.” We think about death and what it means. Or do we? A lot of people don’t. Some people who do think about it shudder, try to get away from it, do not want to think about it. It is because they don’t know Christ and the victory God gives over death! But we must MEET death, sooner or later, every one of us. We must
meet death alone. No one can go through that valley with us except the Lord Himself. If He is not with you, you WILL be alone. But the child of God can say, “Since God and Christ love me, I am persuaded that even death cannot break his union. It is an eternal bond that cannot be broken.” Christ conquered death when He died. He removed the sting from death when He died. Christ will
be WITH us, for He says, “I will never leave thee or forsake thee.” NEVER leave, NEVER forsake. He will NEVER leave us, so even death cannot come between us. Child of God, don’t be afraid of death.It cannot separate you from the Lord. He will be WITH you in death.

2) Life
The Apostle says, “There is nothing in life that can separate me from God.” A lot of people today do not want to live. For them it would seem easier to die than to keep on living. Just this week I had a call from a lady who didn’t want to live any longer. Her husband left her for another, didn’t love her anymore. The light of her life went out. She tried to take her life. She said, “Life isn’t worth living.” (Well, it surely isn’t, without Jesus.) Her mistake was that she had made a god out of a man. Don’t make a god out of anybody, not even our dearest loved one. We are to love our loved ones, of course. I am not minimizing that love. We need the love of others, and God has provided them for us. But we are not to make them THE GOD of our lives. Don’t let them have the place of GOD. When your husband is your GOD and something happens to him, you don’t have any God to look after you anymore. But when you love your husband AS YOUR HUSBAND, and love God AS GOD, then if your husband goes you still have GOD.Sometimes life is very hard, but nothing in life can separate a child of God from the love of God.These are problems, trials, tensions. Recently one of my loved ones’ blood pressure shot way up high all of a sudden, 185-200. The doctor made a series of tests, and what was the cause? Tension.Just the tensions of living, the problems, loved ones ill, constant cares of all kinds. The other day a doctor said that the two greatest enemies of the human race are overweight and tension, just rushing all the time with concern, till the wheels begin to grind with difficulty. There is the care of making a living. A businessman out there has to be fighting the business world every day to make a living. How difficult it is.There is the sin problem. People carry a burden of sin and unless they find the precious answer of the Blood of Christ cleansing them from sin, they go on under the burden.Then there are problems of old age. Loved ones as they get older need to be taken care of. We go out in these nursing homes and find people there who are distressed. Many times they have fears.Living is difficult. It really is.So there are a lot of hard things in life until at times some people think it would be easier to go than to stay.We learn in the Bible of men (outstanding, godly men) who really wanted to die when the pressures of life got too heavy. But God took care of each one. Elijah was one who wanted to die, but God tookcare of him. Job wanted to die, but God took care of him and brought him through those deep waters. Nothing in LIFE can separate a child of God from the love of God!

3) Angels
Nothing in the angelic world can separate me from God. There are good angels and there are bad angels. Good angels do not want to separate us from God, but bad angels would like to. The devil and his demons would like to. But this statement says that you don’t have to be afraid of the devil or demons. We are to beware of the devil’s tricks. We are not to yield to his temptations. We are to look
out for his lies and trickery but we don’t have to be afraid. He can’t separate the child of God from God.

4) Principalities
The Greek word principalities means “rulers, authorities.” There are unseen rulers in the other world, the world just beyond our fingertips, the spirit world. Paul in Ephesians says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against PRINCIPALITIES and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.” A lot of people are afraid of the spiritual world, afraid to consider it. But you don’t have to be afraid if you have God and Christ and Their almighty power and love.

5) Things Present
“Nor things present.” There is nothing presently with me, this present moment, that can separate me from God. What is your PRESENT difficulty, your present problem? What is presently “eating at you” now? Jesus is the Answer. God is the Answer. If you HAVE GOD AND CHRIST with you, looking after you, never to leave you, Their almighty love lavished on you, then there is NOTHING presently with
you that can hurt you or separate you from Their love.

6) Things to Come
Then he says, “Nor things to come.” Oh, my, I could stay all day with that. We could talk about the prophecies of the Word, about the world getting worse and worse, about the Tribulation Period, the Antichrist, the eruption of demons out of the pit, the waters turned to blood, the devil and Antichrist over all the earth, the return of Christ, the judgment of the nations, the end of the world, the destructions of the present heavens and earth, the judgment of the unsaved, hell, and many other
“things to come,” tremendous convulsions that will take place. God is not going to let this thing rock on forever as it is now. Believe me, I would tremble if I didn’t know that God and Christ were WITH ME and that They LOVE me and that nothing can separate me from Their love. With Christ I can face anything to come!

7) Powers
“Powers” is the Greek word dunameis, and it seems to refer to supernatural powerful beings of the other world. We hear more and more today about witchery, sorcery, fortune-telling, spiritism,occultism, that sort of thing. When Halloween comes people jokingly talk about witches, but there are real witches today, literally and truly. There are “mediums” and others. The Bible forbids us dabbling
in that sort of thing. But we don’t have to be afraid of these spiritual powers for they cannot separate us from the Lord. We have a God Who doeth according to His will among the inhabitants of the earth and none can say unto Him, “What doest Thou?” We don’t have to be afraid of any spiritual power.

8) Height
“Nor height.” There is nothing in the heights. Now Paul might have been referring to outer space.There are three heavens: the air around us (the heaven of the birds), the heaven of the stars, then the Third Heaven where God lives. The space in our universe seems to be infinite in vastness. But we don’t have to worry about “heights”. Jesus Christ passed through all the heavens into the very Presence of God. At the Rapture, we’ll be caught up into the air to be with the Lord and God will take care of us. It could be that the Apostle was speaking of spiritual heights.

9) Depth
He speaks of “depth.” The Bible speaks of the abyss, hell, the lake of fire, hades, the bottomless pit.These words need not scare one who is joined forever to the Living God.

10) Any Other Created Thing
Then he sums it all up in one tremendous statement, and if you ever get hold of it, child of God, you will never worry about anything anymore. “Nor any other created thing.” Nothing CREATED can ever separate me from God. Well, naturally, if Creator Him-self (Christ) is with me, then nothing that He has created (inferior to Him-self) can hurt me. This should alleviate all fear from our hearts forever.

Triumph of the Lamb

The Triumph Of The Lamb

Watch Video: http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/video-player/triumph-of-the-lamb-460272.html

Adrian Rogers
   Adrian Rogers

Revelation 1:7-18 (Program: 2335, Air dates: 4.5.2015 & 4.12.2015) By Adrian Rogers

  1.   INTRODUCTION
    1.   Jesus is the omniscient one.
    2.   Jesus is the omnipresent one.
    3.   Jesus is the omnipotent one.
    4.   The first time He came, He wore a robe of shame and was mocked.
    5.   When He comes again, He’ll sit upon the throne of His glory and be revealed as Lord.  (1 Timothy 6:15)
    6.   Revelation 1:7-8
  1.   THE SETTING
    1.   John has been exiled to the isle of Patmos.  (Revelation 1:9)
    2.   God gives John a vision of the Lord Jesus.
    3. John 16:33
    4. Revelation 1:10-18
  1. TEN THINGS JOHN SAW ABOUT THE LORD JESUS
    1. He is the resurrected Christ with undiminished humanity.  (Revelation 1:12-13)
      1. John 1:14
      2. 1 Timothy 3:16
    2. He is the reigning Christ with unrivaled majesty.  (Revelation 1:13)
      1. John 5:22
      2. Romans 14:11
    3. He is the righteous Christ with unblemished purity.  (Revelation 1:14)
      1. Isaiah 1:18
      2. If we do not confess Jesus as Lord and accept His salvation, then we will stand before Him for judgment.
        1. Hebrews 9:27
        2. Hebrews 9:22
    4. He is the revealing Christ with unhindered scrutiny.  (Revelation 1:14)
      1. Hebrews 4:13
    5. He is the relentless Christ with untarnished integrity.  (Revelation 1:15)
      1. Acts 17:30-31
    6. He is the regal Christ with unchallenged authority.  (Revelation 1:15)
      1. Psalm 29:3
      2. John 5:28
    7. He is the ruling Christ with unequaled majesty.  (Revelation 1:16)
    8. He is the revenging Christ with unspoiled victory.  (Revelation 1:16)
      1. Hebrews 4:12
    9. He is the resplendent Christ with undimmed glory.  (Revelation 1:16)
      1. 2 Corinthians 4:6
    10. He is the reassuring Christ with undiluted deity.  (Revelation 1:17-18)
      1. Matthew 11:28

 

About Love Worth Finding

Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers broadcasts the message of God’s love everyday. The man of God conveys the Word of God to the people of God that they might know the greatest Love worth finding — Jesus Christ.

 

About Adrian Rogers

Dr. Adrian Rogers, preacher/teacher of Love Worth Finding Ministries, had a zeal and love for Jesus that resonated in every message. His legacy continues to reach around this world, sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the greatest Love worth finding. Although Dr. Adrian Rogers passed away on November 15, 2005, tributes continue to pour in testifying of his worldwide impact.We agree with Adrian Rogers that most important are the believers who have had their faith strengthened and the countless number of people who have for the first time entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As he so eloquently put it, this ministry is not about Adrian Rogers, but about Jesus Christ. It was his desire and continues to be our mission — that the truth of God’s great Love worth finding be proclaimed until Jesus returns.