"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
July 1, 2000 Issue
SALVATION BY GRACE NECESSITATED BY THE SINS OF THE SAINTS
LAST WRITTEN WORDS OF ELDER J. F. BOYDSTUN
Bouquets and Brickbats
DOES THE BIBLE REALLY TEACH THAT GOD LOVES EVERY SINGLE, SOLITARY PERSON IN THE HUMAN RACE?
SALVATION BY GRACE NECESSITATED
BY THE SINS OF THE SAINTS
(Second in a Series, Originally published March 1, 1985)
Rom. 4:16; Rom. 7:15-25
By Wayne Camp
One of the great problems facing those who do not believe in salvation by grace is the problem of sin in the life of the born again believer. How does God deal with sin in the life of the saints? Do the saved, in fact, commit sin? Does sin bring sorrow in the life of the saint? Do the sins of the saved destroy their relationship with God or do they only affect their fellowship?
There are numerous examples in Scripture that show that the saved do continue to have a battle with sin. Romans 7:15-25 reveals that there is a raging war in the heart and mind of the Christian. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do . . . when I would do good, evil is present with me,” wrote Paul (Rom. 7:19-21). Again he said: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, WARRING against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (V-22-23).
Truly this passage illustrates and magnifies the fact that salvation by grace is an absolute necessity because of the saints continued proneness to sin. Were our salvation's perpetuation dependent on us we would utterly perish in hell.
We cannot save, ourselves nor can we keep ourselves saved and secure. The blessed Trinity is the Author and Finisher of our salvation.
THE POSSIBILITY OF SIN IN THE
LIFE OF THE SAINT
One cannot read the Bible very much without seeing that some of God's greatest men fell into sin at some time after they were saved. Examples are numerous.
Moses was a great man of God. He is mentioned in that great faith-chapter in Hebrews. “By faith Moses. . .” (Heb. 11:24-26). Yet, this great Divinely appointed leader of Israel committed a sin that was of such magnitude that God killed him and would not allow him to enter Canaan with Israel.
When the children cried out for water on one of occasion God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, not strike it as he had the first time. In an angry rebuke of Israel Moses smote the rock and, in type, he crucified Christ a second time. God said: “Because ye believe me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:7-13). Moses was not lost but he did suffer great loss. He appeared on the mount of the transfiguration glorified with Jesus so we know he was not lost even though he had sinned grievously.
Peter made a tragic trip through Satan's sifter. Even though Christ had lovingly warned him saying: “Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me” (Lu. 22:31-34). Verses 56-61 reveal that Peter denied even knowing Christ. Matthew even records that his second denial was with an oath and the third was accompanied with oaths and curses.
Peter later repented of this terrible sin and was greatly used of God as a preacher, an author, an apostle, and a pillar of the church at Jerusalem.
PAUL, JOB, ISAIAH, DAVID
Space does not permit a detailed discussion of Paul, Job, Isaiah, and David.
The reader is encouraged to consider again Paul's lament in Romans 7:15-25 concerning his continuous raging war between his old nature and the new nature received in regeneration.
When God came to commission Isaiah, Isaiah cried out about his terrible uncleanness (Isa. 6:5). Job, in the presence of God, ceased to maintain that he was righteous and confessed himself to be vile (Job 40:4; Job 42:5-6).
David, about whom much more will be said later, was a man after God's own heart. Yet this saint was guilty of covetousness, lust, adultery, cover-up, and murder. Many suffered because of his sin.
Even though all four of these men were saints, they sinned as did Moses and Peter. To this we could add other men and women who were guilty of sin but these demonstrate clearly by example that saints do sin.
The possibility of sin in the life of the saints is also set forth in unequivocal declaration of the Scripture. Solomon wrote: “There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not,” (Eccl. 7:20). Job said: “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall prove me perverse” (Job 9:20). To Christians John wrote: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (I Jn. 1:8).
This proneness to sin causes the necessity of the constant intercession of Christ on behalf of His people (I Jn. 2:1-2). This is accomplished by his presence before God. In the model prayer given to His disciples Jesus taught us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses” (Lu. 11:1-4). Only a self-deceived, unsaved liar would lay claim to perfection and his own mouth will soon reveal his sinfulness and unregenerate condition. At our very best we must confess ourselves to be unprofitable servants (Lu. 17:10).
THE EFFECTS OF SIN IN
THE LIFE OF THE CHILD OF GOD
When considering the effects of sin in the life of the saints we must approach the subject from both the negative and the positive. Many claim that sin causes the saved person to be lost, cast out, and condemned. Others, sometimes called antinomians, advocate the idea that sin has no effect on the saints and they encourage sin to show the greatness of grace. Both of these errors cheapen grace or are, in truth, disgrace.
From a negative standpoint we must declare that sin in the life of the saint cannot cause the child of God to be lost. “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down” (Psa. 37:23-24). There is nothing that can ever cause God to cast out one of His children. “Him that cometh unto come; I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37). Sin, nor any created thing can separate the child of God from being an object of the everlasting love of God. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall. be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39).
Sin can never condemn the child of God for “there is . . . now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). They “shall not come into condemnation” (Jn. 5:24) even though they do sin. Nothing will cause God to “condemn” the saint “when he is judged” (Psa. 37:33).
A woman may forget her nursing child. She may not have “compassion on the son of her womb.” But God will never forget those whom He has chosen, redeemed and regenerated! (Isa. 49:15).
While sin does not cause the child of God to be lost, it does, certainly, have some sad effects on the saint. The sinning saint will soon lose all the joy of salvation (Psa. 51:12). There is no person on earth who is as unhappy as the saint who harbors unconfessed sin in his heart.
The saint’s service for God is hindered or, totally negated by sin. Only after repentance will he be able to serve God effectively (Psa. 51:7-17).
Confusion reigns in the mind of the sinning saint. He will begin to question his salvation. He has trouble knowing if he has eternal life and may forget that he was ever purged from his sins (II Peter 1:5-9). He will have no assurance of his calling and election (II Peter 1:5-11).
THE SORROW SIN PRODUCES IN THE LIFE
OF THE SAINT
While living with unconfessed sin the pen of David was silent. No glad songs flowed from his heart. The joy was gone and he dared not write of what he was experiencing. When, however, he had confessed his sin songs began to flow forth. In these he gives us a vivid description of the sorrow and unbearable grief that he endured during his silence.
A BRIEF BARING OF THE SOUL
In the thirty-second Psalm David briefly bares his soul and reveals his awful God-wrought sorrow. In the first two verses he declares his assurance of God's dealing with him as a saint. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
Though under the fierce hand of a chastening Heavenly Father, David was assured of his eternal safety. His sins had been imputed to Jesus Christ in the covenant of redemption and were not being imputed to his account. These sins that he had committed would not be brought up against him at the judgment. They were judged at Calvary and God was satisfied. The chastening of a Christian is for his own good and David knew that. He had been justified by the Almighty and sin would not be imputed to his account. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:33).
While sin is not imputed to his account so as to affect his eternal destiny, the sinning saint should not presume that sin is simply ignored by his loving Father. When David did not go to the Lord in repentance and. confession the chastening rod of God fell upon him. “When I kept silence” refers to the silence of nonconfession. David was not suggesting that he should have paraded his sins before the congregation of Israel or before the world. There is no record that this was ever done. His eventual confession was before God (Psa. 51).
The silence of unconfessed sins was very destructive to David's physical and mental well-being. I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. His bones, the very pillars of his physical being, began to deteriorate and weaken. A continuous roaring filled his head. Severe physical afflictions permeated his body and drained away his strength. Sin is a killer, a cancerous fire that burns in the bones and rages out of control. One who has never experienced this convicting pressure of the Holy Spirit cannot understand the inquisition of the soul that is endured by the sinning saint. “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (V-4). God's correcting, convicting, chastening hand was upon David around the clock. In this earthly life, as David reveals in Psalm 73, the Lord deals more severely with sin in the life of his elect than with the sins of the reprobate. Sampson spent his strength seeking to please Delilah and was brought to terrible weakness, humiliation, and shame. The very moisture of David's body—his sweat and tears—had dried up like a Jerusalem summer when there is no rain from May to November. The combined result of his bodily disorder, and his sweat, and his tears was dehydration. Spurgeon wrote: “Scarlet sins call for bloody tears; and if Peter sinned heinously he must weep bitterly.” David wept but there was no longer any tears to wash his sleepless eyes no sweat to cool his parched body, and no saliva to moisten his cracked lips and irritated throat.
No relief was found until David confessed his sin before God. “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah” (V-5). David's only hope was in the fact that his sin had not been imputed to him. His only relief came when he confessed his sins to God.
DETAILS OF DAVID'S GRIEF
In Psalm 38 David pours out the details of his terrible grief because of his sin. He commences the Psalm with a plea for mercy. “O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure” (V-1). He must be rebuked by the Spirit but let it not be at the height of Divine wrath. Chastisement must come, David knew, but he pleads that it not be in the heat of Divine displeasure. Violently David had sinned but he prayed that the rod of correction be applied in gentle love.
The arrows of conviction came accurately, quickly, and regularly. They held fast and would not let go. “Thine arrows stick fast in me” (V-2a).
God's hand of judgment was heavy upon David. “Thy hand presseth me sore,” David cried. When the afflicting, heavy, mighty hand of God is laid upon such as mortal man he will be crushed unless the Lord also “upholdeth him with his hand.”
David drowned in depression. It had affected him completely. From the crown of his head to the sole of his feet he was affected. “There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger” (3a).
Even David's bones had been vexed and rendered restless by the pressure of conviction. “. . . neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin” (V-3b). Sin breaks the believers rest. It disturbs his peace and tranquility. No realm of service, no pleasure of this world, no companionship of friends can cause him to rest and be calm. Only the refuge of the shed blood of Jesus Christ upon confession of the sin can bring inner tranquility back to the saint who has sinned.
The terror and guilt of sin will literally overwhelm one who is in David's position. “For mine iniquities are gone over my head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (V-4). Wave after wave of guilt sweeps over the head. Just when he thinks he has time to catch his breath another wave rolls in. When it finally seems that he has gained a brief respite, in roll more waves of guilt, depression, terror, and sorrow.
When will the tranquility return? When will the soul again repose in blessed assurance? When will the heart again know the sound of glad songs?
The burden of sin with no view of pardon is simply too much. The load is much too heavy to bear. The weight under which he groans threatens to crush him completely. “As an heavy burden they are too heavy for me,” groans David.
One becomes a putrefying stench in his own nostrils. “My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness” (V-5). Spurgeon wrote: “Some of us know what it is to stink in our own nostrils so as to loathe ourselves. Even the most filthy diseases cannot be so foul as sin. No ulcers, cancer, or putrefying sores can match the unutterable vileness and pollution of iniquity. Our own perceptions have made us feel this. We write what we do know; and testify what we have seen; and even now we shudder to think that so much evil should be festering within our nature.”
Regardless of how highly one may have esteemed himself and how close to God he may have been, the foolishness of sin will pull him down until he crawls like a diseased worm. “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long” (V-6). “Innumerable evils have compassed me about; mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; there are more than the hairs of my head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psa. 40:12).
Continuous mourning is the lot of the sinning saint: “I go mourning all the day long,” moaned the Psalmist (V-6). The night is sleepless and the activities of the day offer no rest from the sorrow of sin. Job, in sackcloth, sitting in ashes with grievous boils covering his entire body did not suffer as the sinning saint does under the heavy hand of God. “My loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh” (V-7). “0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” (Rom. 7:24).
Numbness sets in. “I am feeble (benumbed),” cries David, “and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart” (V-8). His heart is broken. It beats like the rising and falling of a raging sea. His deep inexpressible sorrow has caused him to cry out inarticulate roarings and hideous moans.
Only God could perceive the depth of David's pain and sorrow. “Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee” (V-9).
THE REACTION OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Another painful sorrow that the sinning saint experiences is the reaction of his friend's, family, and brethren. This reaction brings such distress that it disturbs the very rhythm of the heart. It causes the heart to flutter and to perpetually palpitate. “My heart panteth,” wrote David (V-10a).
A deathly weakness follows with no one to speak a word of encouragement. The sparkle and life leaves the eyes and they fail as one gropes for an end to his sorrow. “My strength faileth me: as for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me” (V-10).
His friends and loved ones stand aloof from his sore condition. “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsman stand afar off” (V-11). Sometimes those whom one loves the most are the first to desert him in such a time such as David was enduring. “Oh the loneliness of a soul passing under the convincing power of the Holy Ghost,” wrote Spurgeon. Even his kinsmen withdrew and left him alone in his shame, sorrow, and grief. They feared that they might be contaminated, accused, or scorned because of their association with this awful sinner, David.
Whether the friends of David literally withdrew is not important. The sinning, sorrowing soul of a chastened saint feels alone and sees himself deserted by everyone.
David's enemies seized this opportunity to scorn him, belittle and slander him, exaggerating his sin far beyond its true extent. They “lay snares for” him and “speak mischievous things.” They “imagine deceits all the day long” (V-12). These folk invented lies and slanderous stories. The truth about David's sin was bad enough but his enemies felt it needed to be magnified and compounded again and again.
David's reaction to this aloofness by friends, family, and foes was very simple. “But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs” (V-13-14). He could not excuse or deny what he had done. He had heinously sinned and there was no denying that. He could not defend his adultery and murder. There is simply no defense for sin; it is “foolishness” (V-5).
He could not even try to answer all the false accusations made against him by those who “imagined deceits all the day long” (V-12). To try to sort out and answer the false accusations would only result in further defamation of his own character.
David's best defense was no defense, at all. He didn't listen to the charges; he didn't answer the charges; he didn't excuse or deny the charges; he made no counter charges. He' heard nothing. He spoke nothing. He reproved no one.
David's consolation was in the eternal, bountiful mercies of God (V-15-22). His hope was in the assurance that the Lord would hear him. His enemies would rejoice over his fall unless the Lord intervened and lifted him up. He confessed his sin to God and God, he knew, would “make haste to help” him.
HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS CHILDREN WHEN THEY CONFESS THEIR SINS TO HIM
When one of God's children sins and then confesses that sin God deals with him in tender mercy and in loving kindness. “According to the multitude” of his “tender mercies” he will “blot out” the saints transgressions (Psa. 51:1). He chastens his children as a loving Father with their good and profit as His motive (Heb. 12:6-11). He washes them thoroughly, cleansing their sins and iniquities from them (Psa. 51:2). He restores the joy and gladness that was lost through the sorrow of sin (Psa. 51:8, 12, 14).
When God deals with His penitent saint who has sinned He hides His face from His sins and blots out all his iniquities (Psa. 51:9). Due to the fact that all the sins of every saint were imputed to Christ at Calvary and His righteousness has been imputed to our account, sin is never imputed to the account of the saint (Rom. 4:6-8). “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (V-8).
Satan and man may bring charges against any saint of God for we all sin. Our security does not rest in our living sinless lives but in the fact that God has justified us and will not receive a charge from anyone against us. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth” (Rom. 8:34).
We, his saints, can rejoice in the fact that “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Instead, “so great is mercy toward them that fear him” He has “removed our transgressions from us” as “far as the east is from the west.” (Psa. 101:10-13).
Christ, who made a full and satisfactory propitiation for our sins, ever lives and intercedes for His seed. His intercession is not based on our lives or we would utterly perish. Rather, Jesus makes His intercession on the basis of His accomplished work at Golgotha. God cleanses us on the basis of the shed blood of Christ and the eternal, covenant of grace entered into by the three Persons of the Godhead (Psa. 89:27-3b; I Jn. 1:9).
It is not the purpose of this message to condone, encourage, or minimize sin. The sad songs of the sinning saint, David, are enough to assure all who read them that sin is devastating in the life of the saved. The message is intended to offer encouragement to the repenting child of God who has grievously sinned. When God's chastening hand is heavy upon you, your bones are broken, your joy is gone, your heart palpitates wildly, your flesh has no soundness left, and your strength has fled, there is hope. When wave after wave of guilt, grief, and fear roll over your head and threaten to drown you in sorrow and mourning, there is relief. There is refreshment! There is restoration! There is joy! There is revival! There is assurance! There is consolation and comfort! Look to the marvelous, eternal, bountiful mercies of our Covenant God. “Whoso confesseth and forsaketh them (his sins) shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).
Your bones can again rejoice. You can again hear joy and gladness. You can have a clean heart and a right spirit. You can know the joy of salvation. You can again teach transgressors God's ways and see sinners converted. You can again sing aloud of God's righteousness and shew forth God's praise (Psa. 51:8-15). God will not despise your broken and contrite heart (V-17).
“My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—my sin—not in part, but the whole,
“Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
“Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, 0 my soul!
“It is well, It is well with my soul!”
Psalm 103:10-11 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
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LAST WRITTEN WORDS OF ELDER JOHN FRANKLYN BOYDSTUN
It was never my privilege to know Bro. John F. Boydstun. I only heard of him after his death. A friend wrote these words about him (Editor).
John Franklyn Boydstun passed from this life at 10:45 P.M., Tuesday, June 20, 2000, at the age of 72 years. According to a friend, he leaves behind a legacy of a lifelong devotion to his precious Lord and Savior. He was a true saint, an effective expositor of the Word of God and a consistent witness to the greatness of His Lord.
I was especially touched by Bro. Boydstun’s last written words. On his laptop computer, shortly before his death, he wrote the following.
CLASSEN BLVD. BAPTIST CHURCH
I do not know what the Lord Jesus plans. As far as I am personally concerned, I can conceive of no happier event or greater joy than being rapturously transported through the portals of death into the everlasting arms of my holy Triune Creator. He lovingly chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world, that I "should be holy and without blame before Him in love…" Think of it! He predestinated me to be like His precious Son!
Also I quickly admit that I do not desire to either leave or cause sorrow to my precious wife, or to my faithful children, or to my wonderful 29 grandchildren. My death would cause them great sorrow. Nevertheless, even broken hearts of my loved ones who will be left behind at my death, does not appear to be a suitable plea before my Father, beseeching Him to leave me around a little longer. God has appointed us for death. The time and way and consequences of my death rest in His sovereign hands. He alone is wise and knows what is best for His glory and our good. I must die. His boundaries are set in His sovereign wish. To be with Christ is far more to be desired than these passing things of earth!
On the other hand, God challenged me before He called me into the ministry with an overwhelming desire to see true revival. I have not seen those effusions of grace of the Living God! If I should plead with my Heavenly Father to leave me here a little longer, my plea would be, "Oh Lord, my work is not finished!"
My heart still cries out for our Lord to glorify Himself in and through our own local church, Classen Blvd Baptist Church. Travailing for saints, sighing and crying for the abominations in our own local assembly and among professed Christians everywhere—these are burdens that break my heart, and perhaps more so in these days of trouble, than when I was not lying flat of my back in a hospital.
I long to see the abominable corruption in the charismatic churches thoroughly judged and openly shamed by our aggrieved God. I long to see a great host of evangelical preachers saved, called and graced by God to go forth in the power of the Spirit to preach the true Gospel of Christ—boldly denouncing man-centered evangelism, while they yet plead compassionately for sinners to turn to Christ in repentance and faith, and to ever live in that state of repentance and faith. I long to see the truth of God's sovereign ways in saving sinners taken from the hands of anemic, inexperienced book-learners and put into the hands of fiery, faithful, saved preachers of grace who had rather die than knowingly compromise one single word of Scripture.
I long to see our own Calvinistic truths, which are believed by few among professed Christianity, powerfully proclaimed and certainly confirmed by our reigning Lord Jesus as those gospel underpinnings which move mountains, cast down strong holds of Satan, shake the foundation of nations, and set the captives free. Where are those among us who are endued with great power and great grace? In short summation I long to see the despised truth of Christ's love and saving grace set aflame in our churches! But I am a worm and no man! I am an unworthy sinner saved by grace. I am dispensable. May our Heavenly Father glorify Himself with or without me. However our Lord Jesus chooses to exalt and glorify Himself in our times of trouble, may He pour out the promise of the Father once again that heavenly displays of powerful grace may be heard and seen, as on the day of Pentecost. Then we poor, undeserving, unworthy saints will know true, pure, lasting revival.
Come, Lord Jesus, in saving, reviving, reigning power!
"And the power of the Lord was present to heal them." (Luke 5:17) - in soul and in body.
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Bouquets and Brickbats
WWW: You are a wierd little man! Someone should to take you to a doctor and have your head examined! Whoever you think you are and whatever you think you are trying to prove I still think you are wierd! But good luck with your web site.
ARKANSAS: I am so thankful for the clear teaching in the latest edition of the Grace Proclamator and Promulgator. There are so many who endeavor to preach the gospel, who do so from the wrong perspective that the flesh which profits nothing is capable of making a step toward God. I hope that this will cause many to preach from the perspective that unless God does an inward work of regeneration first, all the cleaver psychological manipulations will accomplish nothing except to give people a false hope on the basis of having given the flesh some degree of religious appearance. This, of course, could avail no more than Adam's insufficient covering of fig leaves. When will men learn the simple truth, that to be dead in trespasses and sins means exactly that?! How precious it is that God is still saving souls as he reaches down to them in regenerating power, in conjunction with the preaching of the Word—Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. May more and more who preach be enlightened by the means of your paper, and preach the truth from that perspective, rather than being a means of deception where many are taught to trust in their good works.
Regarding women preachers. In light of the indisputable body of scriptural evidence, any woman who has assumed an unwarranted position of authority in the church as no alternative but to step away from the pulpit and be silent. Since they, no doubt profess to believe the scriptures, they should be pleased to do so, and provide an important example to others that obedience to God's Word is of extreme importance.
Thank you for your faithfulness in proclaiming the truth, even when the stand you take is sure to be unpopular. The important thing is obedience to the Word of God.
WWW: gimme a break!
MEMPHIS: I appreciate what you said in your articles about the Promise Keepers. AMEN! I went to the meetings in Memphis about a year and a half ago. I was fit to be tied by the end of the meeting. You did a great job! Thanks. I would like permission to link from my website to yours on the subject of the Promise Keepers. Thanks.
WWW: I see how you methodically dismantled Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family. What do you stand for? And what do you hope to accomplish by posting websites like the one you have set up?
Just a reminder—Paul didn't sit at a computer and type words. He used his body as a typewriter, and wrote the Gospel on the hearts of many. The letters he wrote have affected billions, but no other ministry did as much as when Paul said, "be imitators of me."
Do you want me to imitate you? Or follow God?
LOUISIANA: Enjoying your article on "Salvation by Grace Necessitated by the Fall of Man." I think I remember when you published this article. It was when you were in Baton Rouge.
OHIO: Since I have finally joined the 20th century and can now get on the Internet, please drop my name from your mailing list for the GP&P. I will be able to access the paper from your web site, and download what I need if I have to. This will really help me with the constant problem of what to do with periodicals such as this when I have finished with them. Passing them on has helped, but I don't know that many people who has an appreciation for such.
Many thanks. Keep up the fight.
KENTUCKY: Enjoyed the article about the "Missing Facts in the Book of Acts." I thought I was the only one that believed these things. Been asking the brethren about them for quite a while and get looked at real funny. Thanks again.
WWW: This is so sad, there is partial truth in what you say, but you are twisting many things here, and misrepresenting people's hearts and intents. I don't know whether Mother Theresa was a Christian or not, but how many dying people have you tended to? I would set her up as an example for my children and I would implore them not to follow the example of individuals such as yourself who would suppose to know the hearts of men. We are none of us perfect. We will find some errors in the doctrinal teachings of all denominations. If you are counting on your perfect interpretation of scripture to get you into heaven, you are in big trouble buddy. I would compare your tactics here more to those of Bill Clinton, putting your spin on one statement an individual has made and using that to malign their character, than to the apostle Paul. The basics are what are important. Does an individual know God? Have they been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? You obviously don't know James Dobson, and I certainly wonder whether you really know God either.
INDIANA: We appreciate the GP&P and all the work you put into it and wish to stay on the subscription list.
ILLINOIS: I want to thank you for your stand for the truth. It seems like some of the brethren have gone overboard on some things and want us to follow the traditions of men which they have set up. If they want to do that, its ok with me as long as they don’t call me names when I don’t agree. I apply this to you because of what I read in your paper.
Don’t let them get you down. God will justify you in the end.
WWW: You are right on the mark! Please see my exhortation in my catalog at www.blueridgeprint.com. Now you just need to get rid of your Romanish organ music too, and Wesleyan romantic-adorned hymns. All Romanism and paganism must be rolled out of the church and all of the "high places" brought down.
WWW: I would like to send your article on alternate life styles to a friend but I need to send it as an attachment can you send me this page as a download, so I can sent it to him?
TEXAS: Could I receive a subscription to your Grace Proclamator magazine, or a sample issue and subscription information? Thank You Very Much!
LOUISIANA: I want to thank you for your article “Should Women Preach?” in the June 1, 2000 issue of your paper.
While I never had a problem accepting (and firmly believing) that women should not preach, I have just recently had to deal with public prayer.
I wish you would consider addressing this in depth, but if not, I do find peace in my heart now for having told my new missionary/pastor (of the little ABA mission we’ve gone back to just this past Sunday) that I would like to decline being called on to pray. I felt “guilty” all day, as there are only 9 of us (4 women, 3 men, 2 children) and wondered if I did the right thing, for the right reason, (to not pray in assembly.) Your article led me to believe my convictions were right and I thank you for it . . . Thank you and may God richly bless you.
[EDITOR’S RESPONSE: Dear Sister, I would like to comfort you in your action concerning leading in public prayer in the assembly. You did what is Scriptural. I will deal with this in a future issue in more detail, but just wanted to assure you that your actions were Scriptural and that must take precedence over all other considerations. Spurgeon, after dealing with this subject in a message, was asked by a lady in the church, “If you came to church and you were the only man present, would you call on a woman to lead in prayer?” He answered something to this effect, “No, I would do all the praying (public) myself if I were the only man present.”
Even if there were only one man in the assembly (the pastor), this would not justify violating the clearly revealed will of God on the matter. 1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. The Greek word translated “men” in this verse refers to a male adult as opposed to women and children. It is especially used to distinguish a male adult from a boy. Therefore, Paul’s admonition is that male adults, not women and children, do the public, praying—the leading in prayer in the assembly.
Moreover, Dear Sister, a woman cannot obey the admonition that she not usurp authority over the men if she “LEADS” the assembly in prayer. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
In this day when so many ignore these Scriptures and others, I thank God that you are abiding by the Word of God. God bless!
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DOES THE BIBLE REALLY TEACH THAT GOD LOVES EVERY SINGLE, SOLITARY PERSON IN THE HUMAN RACE?
By Wayne Camp
It is the contention of many that God loves every single, solitary person in the human race. Most of these folks will go even further and declare that God loves every single, solitary individual in the human race exactly the same as others. Of course, if one misinterprets those Scriptures that teach that God is no respector of persons he would have to argue that God cannot love one person to a greater degree or any differently than any other.
If you happen to hold the position I have just described, I would appreciate it very much if you would kindly answer the following questions and send me your answers.
1. IF the expression "for God so loved the world" in John 3:16 means that God loved every human creature, reprobate or saint, why would David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel and man after God's own heart, say that God hates ALL WORKERS of iniquity? Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
2. IF it be true that God loves every single, solitary person in the world, why did the brilliantly wise Solomon say: "EVERYONE that is proud in heart is an ABOMINATION to the Lord" (Prov. 16:5)?
3. May one who is an abomination in the sight of God still rest in the assurance that God loves him?
4. IF God loves every single, solitary person in the human race, why does Solomon so clearly declare that God hates false witnesses and the sowers of discord? Proverbs 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
5. Since all WHOM THE LORD LOVES are corrected, chastened, and rebuked (Prov. 3:11, 12; Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:60), how is that some are without chastisement, and bastards, and not sons? Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
6. IF God loves every single, solitary individual in the world and wants all of them to be saved, why did this Great Potter make "the wicked for the day of evil" (Prov. 16:4)? Why did he make some "vessels unto dishonour" (Rom. 9:21)? Some "vessels of wrath fitted to destruction" (Rom. 9:22)? Some "made to be taken and destroyed" (II Pet. 2:12)? Some "who were before of old ordained to this condemnation" (Jude 4)?
7. IF God loves all descendants of Adam then why does His terrible wrath abide on many of these objects of His everlasting love? John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
8. IF God loves the wicked--they are PART of the world--why are they "RESERVED to the day of destruction" and why will "they be brought forth to the day of wrath"? Job 21:30
9. IF God loves the wicked, why is "salvation far from the wicked"? Psa. 119:155
10. IF God loves the wicked, why will He destroy all of them? Psalm 145:20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy.
11. If God loves the wicked--and they are PART of the world--why are their sacrifice n abomination to Him? Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
12. IF "the world" signifies every single solitary person and God loves that world of wicked Christ-rejecters, why are we commanded to not love the world nor the things in it? 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
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