"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
October 1, 2003
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ARE BAPTISTS CALVINISTS?
WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL?
WHY I DO NOT SUPPORT OR PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC RELIGIOUS PROTESTS
BOUQUETS AND BRICKBATS
WHO UNCHURCHES WHOM?
DEPARTURE FOR THAILAND IS AT HAND
ARE BAPTISTS CALVINISTS?
By Elder Royce Smith
To be able to answer the above question accurately, we must first ask and answer another question: what is a Calvinist? Or, to be more specific, what is Calvinism? Calvinism is the term which has been used to denote a system of Biblical teaching known as the Doctrines of Grace during the last two centuries. A Calvinist, therefore, is a believer in the doctrines of grace.
Lest someone jump to the wrong conclusion, it must be stated negatively that Baptists are not followers of John Calvin. Not originating with him, but predating him by over 1500 years, Baptists cannot be disciples of the Geneva Reformer. Since they further do not concur with his ecclesiology, his Covenant Theology, his practice of infant sprinkling, and his Presbyterian church government, Baptists cannot be called disciples of John Calvin.
Nevertheless, it must be positively emphasized that historic Baptists are Calvinists. Since they believe in the doctrines of free and sovereign grace which is true Calvinism, Baptists have been called theological Calvinists because they historically have held to the Total Depravity and Inability of Man, Unconditional Election, Definite Atonement or Particular Redemption, Efficacious or Irresistible Grace, and The Final Perseverance of the Saints.
Although these doctrines have been called Calvinism for over two centuries, they originated with the triune God who revealed them to the prophets of old, not to John Calvin. These truths were then taught by our Lord and the Apostles long before John Calvin was born. These teachings were next promulgated by the early church fathers, by Augustine, by Martin Luther and the early reformers before Calvin ever systematized them. More importantly, the system of faith known as Calvinism was handed down to historic Baptists by the ancient Waldenses, not by John Calvin.
While it must be admitted that most modern Baptists are Arminians, true, historic Baptists are Calvinists.
I. THE ORIGINAL BAPTISTS WERE CALVINISTS.
The first Baptist Church was established by our Lord Himself. When He walked by the Sea Shore of the Sea of Galilee and called out His first disciples who had been evangelized and baptized by John the Baptist, the first church was born (Matt. 4:18-22; 16:18; Acts 1:21, 22). From such passages as John 6:37, 44; Matthew 20:28, and John 17:9, 20, 24 it is evident that this church was taught the doctrines of grace by the Lord Himself.
From this first church have descended all true Baptist Churches. The churches of the New Testament were therefore Baptist Churches. From the inspired epistles written to these early churches it is obvious they were taught the doctrines of grace by the apostles. What Calvinists teach is exactly what such passages as 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 1:4; 1 John 2:2; 5:19; 2 Peter 3:9; and Romans 8:20 declare.
Calvinism is nothing less than believing the Holy Scriptures to be the revelation of God and accepting that revelation as the whole truth of God. Since Baptists believe the Scriptures to be divinely-inspired and the sole rule of their faith and practice, they must be acknowledged as Calvinists.
II. THE ANCIENT BAPTISTS WERE CALVINISTS.
Because the perpetuity of the church was promised by our Lord (Matt. 16:18; 28:20) and confirmed by the Apostle Paul (Eph. 3:21), true Baptists believe there has never been a time since the days of our Lord Jesus until today in which no New Testament Baptist Church has existed. On the basis of this fact, we expect to find ancient churches teaching the same doctrines the original churches taught, else there could be no perpetuity of the church because its continued existence demands it persevere in the “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
Looking closely at the ancient forerunners of the modern Baptists, we discover they were Calvinists. The Donatists of the Fourth Century were clearly Calvinistic in their doctrine. In his Baptist Church Perpetuity W. A. Jarrel shows the only point of difference between Augustine and the Donatists whom he opposed was infant baptism (p. 96). Jarrel further states that the Donatists represented the broad principle of the Montanists and the Novatians. Thus, the ancient Montanists and Novatians who preceded the Donatists were themselves Calvinists.
Furthermore, the ancient Paulicians who perpetuated the Montanists, Novatians, and Donatists were Calvinists. Jarrel claims they were of like-faith and practice with that of the Montanists, the Novatians, and the Donatists (pp. 244, 45). If they were of like-faith, then they too must have been Calvinists.
The successors of the ancient Paulicians, the Albigenses and Paterines, who were also called the Cathari (pure), were Calvinists. On page 139 of his Baptist Church Perpetuity W. A Jarrel writes of these middle age churches, “They were Baptists on the doctrine of election and believed in the doctrine of unconditional predestination.” Would not their beliefs on these doctrines therefore make them Calvinists?
The Albigenses and Paterines merged into the Waldenses who succeeded them and who were themselves referred to as Cathari or pure. Without question the Waldenses were Calvinists. Jarrel declared “The Waldenses were Baptists as to the doctrine of election” (Ibid. p. 166). Those who hold to the historic Baptist position on election are decidedly Calvinists. A 1532 Waldensian Confession of Faith states in Article 4: “Whosoever upholds Free-will denieth absolutely Predestination, and the grace of God” (The Churches of the Valley of Piemont, p. 40). Obviously these ancient Baptists were not Free-Will Baptists!
Finally, the Anabaptists of Europe, a name applied to all of the aforementioned churches, were Calvinists. According to W. A. Jarrel, “These Anabaptists believed in election... They held that there could be no contradiction between God’s doctrine of his church and of salvation, that election and justification by faith and regeneration by the Spirit result in a church of believers (Baptist Church Perpetuity, pp. 188,89). The above statement is nothing less than classic Calvinism.
III. THE EARLY ENGLISH BAPTISTS WERE CALVINISTS.
Our Baptist predecessors were the earliest Christians in England. Before missionaries from the Church of Rome visited the British Isles, our Baptist forefathers had taken the gospel to the pagan peoples there. The early English Baptists descended from them as well as from the European Baptists whom we have already shown were Calvinists in theology.
Despite the claims of some uninformed writers, the first English Baptists were not General Baptists. Founded by John Smyth, the General Baptists are Arminians, the name General being derived from their belief in a general atonement, whereas the Particular Baptists were so designated because of their adherence to Particular Redemption or Definite Atonement. For years efforts were made to unite the General Baptists with the Particular Baptists, a dream that became reality in 1887 with the formation of the Baptist Union. This movement was connected with the Down Grade controversy that led Charles H. Spurgeon and the Metropolitan Tabernacle to withdraw from the Baptist Union.
Thus, the first English Baptists were Particular Baptists, clearly identifying their Calvinistic doctrinal position by affixing the name Particular to Baptist to declare their doctrine concerning the atonement. Anyone who examines the writings and confessions of the Particular Baptists knows they were decided Calvinists.
For example, one need only read the First London Confession of 1644, Article 3; the Midland Confession of 1655, Articles 5-8; the Somerset Confession of 1656, Articles 9-11, 15; and the Second London Confession of 1677 (published in 1689) chapters 3, 10 to see the strong Calvinism of the early English Baptists. Their most noted leaders and writers of the last three centuries, Benjamin Keach, John Gill, and Charles Spurgeon, were all pure Calvinists.
IV. THE EARLY AMERICAN BAPTISTS WERE CALVINISTS.
It is an obvious fact that the early American Baptists derive their lineage from the English Particular Baptists. Their ministers came from the Particular Baptists, and in certain cases, entire congregations emigrated to America. Their adoption of the Confessions of the Particular Baptists such as Keach’s Confession reveals they were Calvinists.
In addition, their own Confessions of Faith prove they were Calvinists. The Philadelphia Confession of 1742, the Kehukee Confession of 1777, Principles of Faith of the Sandy Creek Association of 1816, the New Hampshire Confession of 1830, which has been adopted by the General Association in 1902, the American Baptist Association in 1924, the Southern Baptist Convention in 1925, and the General Association of Regular Baptists in 1933, are all Calvinistic Confessions.
Furthermore, many state and local associations of Baptists Churches have adopted Calvinistic Confessions in addition to those named above. The combined testimonies of these confessions in addition to the writings of leading early American Baptists proves conclusively that historic Baptists are Calvinists. Yet most modern so-called Baptists have departed from the faith of their spiritual forefathers and the churches which gave them the faith once delivered to the saints and have become rank Arminians. God have mercy on the churches and preachers that depart from the historic faith to embrace the errors of humanistic Arminianism!
Despite claims to the contrary, true Baptists are Calvinists! Those who wear the name Baptist today but have departed from free grace to so-called free will are not true Baptists. They are in reality nothing more than General or Free Will Baptists. At least the Free Will Baptists admit they are Arminian—something modern Baptists will not do even though the facts are against them.
Those Baptists today known as Sovereign Grace Missionary Baptists are the true Baptists which have descended from the early American Baptists, the English Baptists, the Waldenses, Albigenses, Paulicians, Donatists, Novatians, Montanists, the churches of the New Testament, and the first church founded by our Lord. In this sense, they are truly primitive Baptists, a title that even the anti-missionary Baptists cannot claim. May God give us the grace to ever contend for this “faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), which is the ”faith of God’s elect” (Titus 1:1).
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WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL?
IF SALVATION IS OF THE LORD THEN THERE IS NO WAY A TRULY BORN AGAIN BELIEVER COULD EVER END UP IN HELL
(Continued from August 1, 2003, issue)
By Wayne Camp
In the June issue of this paper I dealt with the fact that the torments of hell are such that there is no way a truly blood-bought child of God could ever enter that awful place. Then in the July and August issues I showed that salvation is of the Lord. Being wholly of the Lord and being wholly of his sovereign grace, a child of God could never end up in the torments of hell.
I would be the first to tell you that if our salvation is dependent on our works, we would all end up in hell. I will go further and say that if our salvation is even 10% dependent on us and on our works we would doubtless fall short and still end up in hell. To be almost saved is to be lost. To almost go to heaven is to go to hell. We can no more come up with 10% merits for salvation than we could come up with 100% of the merits for salvation. All the merit for our salvation is in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. All of our salvation is a work of the blessed Trinity.
In the three previous installments on this subject we considered the following:
1. It was God who conceived the scheme of salvation before the foundation of the world.
2. It is God who commences this good work of salvation.
3. Salvation is by grace through faith; not of works.
4. Jesus is the propitiation for all who believe.
5. It is God who made us accepted in the beloved.
With these facts already before us, let us now consider some other aspects of this salvation that is wholly of the Lord. We affirm next that
IT IS GOD WHO CONTINUES THIS GOOD WORK OF SALVATION
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
DEFINITION: continue = to go on or keep on, as in some course or action; to last, to endure; to persist or persevere in a matter; to cause to last or endure; to maintain.”
Dear Reader, It is God who continues to perform this grand work of salvation which he initiates. GREEK for "perform" is EPITELESEI. This word has the same root as the word Jesus used when he cried, "It is finished." This word is future active indicative. God is continuing the work now and will bring it on to perfection, or completion. If the work of salvation is not completed in one of the saved and they end up in hell, it will be a failure of God to continue to perform the work which he has begun in them. I say that very reverently. But, if the salvation of God’s elect is of the Lord and he is the one who continues to perform it until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ it could only fail if he quits the work before it is finished.
The Greek word for "begun" and for "perform" are used together in 2 Corinthians 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. The same two Greek words are used together in Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
God continues this work of salvation out of everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Everlasting love causes God to draw his people to himself in the first place. Will not that same everlasting love continue to draw them until the salvation is completed in their glorification? God’s love for his elect is an everlasting love and nothing can happen in the life of the true child of God that will cause God to cast him into hell. Our salvation is from the wrath to come. It is Jesus who has delivered us from that wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
I suppose it is in order to ask, “For how long did Jesus deliver us from the wrath to come?” It should also be in order for us to ask, “How far from the wrath to come did Jesus deliver us when we laid hold of him through faith?” I suggest that the “how long” of this deliverance is eternal. It is for so long that the believer has eternal life and will never come into condemnation. John 5:24 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.
Surely the Lord has separated us as for from the wrath to come as he has separated our sins from us. Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Those who would suggest that it is possible for one of God’s children to be lost in hell surely do not understand the everlasting love of God. God will not cast off his people on whom he has set his everlasting love.
God continues this work of salvation because of his everlasting covenant. Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Surely if God were to send one of his beloved children to hell he would be turning away from them to do them good. Yet, he promises on the ground of his everlasting covenant that he will not turn away form them to do them good.
We read something of this everlasting covenant in the 89th Psalm. Psalm 89:27-36 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
My Dear Reader, even if our faithfulness fails, God’s will never fail. Neither will he break his covenant nor alter that which has gone out of his lips. Our salvation is sure, certain and eternal because of the everlasting covenant of grace which cannot be broken.
God continues this work of salvation because of his own honor and glory. Isaiah 48:9-11 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
You will note that in these articles on the subject at hand I have never claimed that children of God do not sin. I have not denied that a child of God may sin very grievously. I have confirmed that salvation is of the Lord and it is his work in the sinner. Salvation is not a cooperative work between the Trinity and the sinner. Since salvation is of the Lord, I affirm that for it to fail to bring even one of God’s children home to glory would be a reflection on the honor and integrity of God. He saves and preserves his children for his own sake. He will not allow his glorious name to be polluted by one of his children perishing in hell. He will not allow his honor to be assailed because his arm is not able to save forever.
God continues this work of salvation in answer to the prayer of Jesus Christ. John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. Does Jesus every pray for that which God does not grant? Does Jesus ever ask amiss when he prays? Does Jesus ever pray outside the will of God? No! No! No! No! In the verse above Jesus prays for the Father to keep through his own name those whom the Father had given to him. Surely he will not fail to carry out this request! Surely he will answer this prayer of Jesus.
God continues this work of salvation because that is what is consistent with his very God-nature. He is absolutely faithful in all things. 2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. His foundation stands sure having the seal that he knows who are his. 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. He is unchangeable in his purpose and plan. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Those whom he has ordained to eternal life will be brought to believe on Jesus Christ. Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Those whom he has predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son will surely be conformed to the image of his Son. Romans 8:29 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. Those on whom he has set his electing love will surely be called, justified, and glorified. Romans 8:29-30 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. He never revokes the gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
God continues this work of salvation because of his infallible promise of eternal life. This eternal life was infallibly promised before the foundation of the world. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. The promise of God to all his elect is absolutely sure and certain because it is of faith that it might be by grace. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. The promise of God is absolutely certain because he has made Jesus Christ the exclusive medium through whom eternal life is received. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. The promise given before the birth of Christ is that "he shall save his people from their sins." Every promise of God is absolutely certain because Jesus Christ is the only procuring cause of the good things contained in them. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
God continues this work of salvation by making Christ unto us all we need to come into his presence. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Jesus is made unto us wisdom so we will never be lost in hell for lack of wisdom. He has made him unto us righteousness so we could never be lost in hell for lack of righteousness. He has made him unto us sanctification so we will never be cast out into the torments of hell for lack of sanctification. He has made Jesus Christ unto us redemption so we can never be lost because of an inferior redemption.
God continues this work of salvation by preserving us in Jesus Christ. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. If one wants to preserve something he must be sure that he has a good preservative. Salt is a good preservative for meat if it has not lost its savor. During World War II I recall our killing four large hogs for meat during the winter. It was cold enough but the salt that we were able to get at that time was not good. We had a large meat box in the smoke house and there Dad salted down those four big hogs. There were eight large hams, eight large shoulders, and eight large sides for fried salt pork—our substitute for bacon. There was just one colossal problem. The salt was no good. When dad went to check the meat and re-salt and re-pack it in the meat box it was spoiled. Every piece had to be thrown away. Daddy loaded it all into the back of the pickup while Mother stood watching and weeping. He then hauled it back on the back of the farm where he threw it into the edge of the woods for the dogs, the night critters, and the buzzards to eat.
The failure on this meat was the preservative. It was not the fault of the meat. It was not even my father’s fault. It was the fault of the salt.
Dear Reader, the preserver of the children of God is the Lord Jesus Christ. He preserves us in him and by him. If we spoil and go to hell it will be a failure of the preserver, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is not fault with him. We can be assured that we are preserved in him forever and ever.
God continues this work of salvation by keeping us from falling. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Yes, if we were left to ourselves we would surely fall. If even a minuscule portion of our staying surefooted is dependent on us we would fall into everlasting torments. But, we trust the one who is able to keep us from falling. We trust the one who is able to make us surefooted. We trust the one who is able to present us without fault before the presence of his glory. Our security is in him.
Personally I have never been real surefooted. When I played high school basketball one referee said that I was the only man he had ever seen who could jump into the air under the goal and foul every man on the floor and I was the only man who could stumble on the paint at the centerline. I think he exaggerated a wee bit but I was never very surefooted. In the year 2000 I made my first trip to Thailand. When we visited the church at Pa Deang we had to climb the log that is propped against the porch of their building. Frankly, I had to have assistance going up and coming down. I never could walk a footlog and I grew up on a bayou where we often used a log to get across it. I usually sat astraddle of it and scooted across while my older brother, Leon, would run across it. Without assistance, I could never have gotten up or down the log seen in this picture of the church building at Pa Deang. Had I tried, my fall would have been greater than that of Humpty Dumpty.
Spiritually none of us are surefooted on our own. We are dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ to keep us from stumbling or we would fall all the way into the torments of hell. But he is able to make us surefooted.
God continues this work of salvation by ordering our steps and holding us in his all-powerful hand. Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. God orders our steps but even then we may stumble and fall. But, there is a Divinely set limit to that fall. We will not fall so far as to be utterly cast down into the torments of everlasting burning. The Lord upholds us with his mighty omnipotent hand.
God continues this work of salvation by always being present with us to preserve us. There is no place that we can go where his hand does not hold us. Psalm 139:7-10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. There is no one who can pluck us out of his hand. John 10:27-29 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. How wonderfully safe we are in the hand of Christ and the hand of the Father. We cannot fall out and no one can pluck us out. Notice that it is his hand that holds us; not our hand that holds onto him.
God continues this work of salvation by making the seed of Christ to endure forever. Psalm 89:29-33 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. God is speaking in this passage. He speaks of the children whom he has given to Jesus Christ to save. Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Notice very carefully this unequivocal statement of God. “His seed also will I make to endure for ever.” This verse does not say, “His seed will I help and perhaps they will endure forever.” No! He says that he will make them endure forever. God is the one making the children of Christ to endure forever. It is his work; not ours.
God continues this work of salvation by making all things work together for our good. Romans 8:28 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. Paul does not say that we think all things work together for good. He said, “We know.” We are absolutely certain. We have not a doubt in the matter. Since all things do work together for good to them who love God and who are the called according to his purpose, is there anyway that it could be for the good of a child of God to go to heaven?
God continues this work of salvation by rendering it impossible for us to ever come into condemnation. We are assured that we shall not come into condemnation. John 5:24 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. We cannot come into condemnation because there is no condemnation for those in Christ and all who have believed are in Christ. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Could one who is in Christ ever go to hell? Did not Christ suffer the equivalent of eternal hell for his people? Men go to hell because of sin. Did not Jesus pay for all the sins of his elect?
God continues this work of salvation because he cannot lie and he promised a life that is eternal and for it to be less than eternal would make him a liar. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. Hebrews 6:16-20 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Is there such a thing as a person in hell having eternal life? If not, how could a person who is saved by the blood of Christ, justified by faith in Christ, regenerated by the power of God, ever end up in that place of torment.
God continues this work of salvation by keeping those who have committed their eternal welfare into his hands. 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: 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. I once asked a Campbellite preacher if Christ was able to keep the souls of those who had committed theirs into his care. He said, “I know that Christ is able; the question is not whether he is able or not; it is whether or not he is willing to keep the souls of those who have believed on him.” I am reminded of the question of Paul. Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Paul asks a logical question here. God did not spare his Son but put him through the very worst of suffering including forsaking him for a time that we might never be forsaken. He delivered him up for all of his elect people. In the light of that Paul asks, “How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” “Freely” means “without a cause.” The all things to which Paul refers are freely given; they are given to us without a cause found in us for him to give them. Since they are freely given, there is no way that they would not be given to all those for whom Christ suffered and died. Therefore, the notion that one of God’s children would ever be cast into hell is illogical as well as being contrary to Scripture.
We learn from the Apostle Peter that he gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Since God freely gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness how could any child of God ever end up in hell?
God continues this work of salvation by refusing to receive any charge against those whom he has chosen, called and justified. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. After Paul asks the logical question that we just considered, he asks another very important question. “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?” He then points out that it is God who justifies. He who justifies us in his own sight would surely not turn around and condemn even one of his children to the torments of hell. If God will not receive a charge against his elect because he delivered up his Son for us all, on what grounds would he cast one of his justified children down to the torments of hell?
(TO BE CONTINUED IN A FUTURE ISSUE)
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WHY I DO NOT SUPPORT OR PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC RELIGIOUS PROTESTS
By Wayne Camp
Sort of an Editorial
Something that happened in Alabama today (August 27, 2003) is one of the several reasons that I never encourage, approve, or participate in religious protests and demonstrations. I saw it on Fox News channel but could not hear what the man said but it was reported that when the workmen started moving the monument of the Ten Commandments out of the rotunda of the courthouse, “a ‘red-faced’ supporter of Judge Roy Moore began shouting, ‘Get your hands off our God, God haters!’”
Such stupidity, or downright idolatry would make me ashamed to be a part of anything such as that. Has the man’s god been reduced to a monument of stone? If so, he is as much an idolater as those who bow down to statues of Buddha or the goddess Diana or any other of the myriad of idols worshipped by men. Regardless of what you feel about this issue of the removal of the monument, if you are a Bible-believer you cannot possible condone the idolatrous nature of this protestor's charge. “Get your hands off our God, God haters!”
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Bouquets and Brickbats
WWW:Just found your site today and sharing it with a friend. CONTINUE to Be BOLD in TRUTH!!! SPEAK BOLDLY of TRUE DOCTRINE as CHRIST AND PAUL DID. These "modern men" of today don't say anything only give "Them" riches but NO doctrine nor JESUS DOCTRINE today sad!!!!!!! LIVES are going to hell because of it!!!
TEXAS: I loved the article about Gill’s pre-millennial position. I have heard so many claim he was an a-mill that it is refreshing to see the truth presented as you have done. I truly appreciate you paper.
LOUISIANA: Hope all goes well in your trip back to Thailand. The format of your paper is very good, easy to read. I like the font size.
CALIFORNIA: The answer to your question in the Sept 1 issue of The Grace Proclamator, “Was John Gill a Premillennialist?” is a definite, yes! He and Charles Spurgeon were both Historic Pre-millennialists. This being said, I think it should be pointed out that they were not Forty-second cousins to modern day dispensational Pre-mills. In Gill’s Body of Divinity he has a capter on the “Spiritual Reign of Christ,” and one on the “Personal Reign of Christ.” Throughout church history there have been advocates of historic Pre-millennialism which is a far cry from dispensational Pre-millennialism which did not exist until around 1830.
Also, in the second paragraph of your article, it seems to me you describe Gospel, or Realized, sometimes called A-millennialism, instead of Post-mill. [Editor’s Note: Those who hold that we are in the millennial reign of Christ now and also hold to a future second coming of Christ are Post-millennialists. If we are in the millennium and Christ comes at the end of this age that will be a post-mill return. It may be called Gospel-mill, a-mill, realized-mill, but if Christ is going to return after this that is clearly Post-mill—Christ coming after the millennium. They may not hold to all that the confessed post-mill people do but when they look for the return of Christ at the end of the millennial reign they are post-mill as I understand the meaning of the term.]
Love your paper. May God bless in Thailand.
MISSOURI:Thanks for the interesting and informative article, Was Dr. John Gill A Premillennialist? Thanks for your work in finding and reporting Gill's statements on eschatology. In my own studies I have found that Gill believed three things that are essential to premillennialism: he believed that God is not finished with Israel, that there will be a literal Antichrist at or near the end and that Christ will literally reign on this earth for a thousand years sometime in the future.
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WHO UNCHURCHES WHOM?
About six years ago this editor received a letter from a concerned lady about folks who tried to unchurch other folks. At that time I answered her questions and saved the letter to a file intended for publication. To the best of my recollection, I never printed her questions and my answers. I wrote,
I was happy to receive your letter and to answer your questions as best I can. I especially commend you on your desire to church people instead of unchurching them. That is my concern exactly. Here are your questions with my answers.
Questions and answers:
1. Are churches that teach link chain succession true churches? Editor: They may, or may not be. That doctrine alone does not make what would otherwise be a true church an untrue church. As for as I can ascertain from history, this has never been considered a test of a churches validity as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the strict chain-link folks who unchurch people and churches if they cannot trace their history by vote of churches to start churches.
2. Are churches that teach link chain succession committing spiritual adultery? Editor: No. Spiritual adultery is committed by worshipping idols. Teaching chain link succession is certainly not idolatry.
3. If someone opposes link chain succession aren't they unchurching people that hold this teaching? Editor: No. The church at Corinth had many errors but was still one of the Lord’s beloved churches. Paul opposed and rebuked some of the things being taught there but he still considered the church a true church. It was “the church of God at Corinth.” The same was true of the church at Laodecia. Jesus opposed some things in the seven churches of Asia, even hated some of the things, but they were still his churches. I have stated that those who teach the kind of chain link succession which the strict chain-link successionist teaches, i. e.; there must be the vote of a mother church each and every time a church is established or it is not a true church, by their position unchurch themselves for not one of them can show that kind of linked chain succession back to the church Jesus established during his ministry. I do not unchurch them; they unchurch themselves if such a vote is essential and they cannot show that every church in their lineage was started in that manner.
4. Shouldn't we be more concerned about who we church than who we unchurch? Editor: Amen! That is one of the reasons I have engaged in this discussion. I believe every church of the Lord Jesus Christ is precious to him and to disband one that is his because of some tradition for which there is no Scripture is a reflection on the Builder, the Preserver, and Head of that church. When a person impugns one of the Lord’s churches, he truly attacks Christ himself. “As oft as ye have done it unto these ye have done it unto me . . . .”
5. Who or what has the authority to loose and bind on the earth? (Matt. 16:19; Matt. 18:18). Editor: If I understand these verses our Lord is speaking of his churches. But, that does not give preachers and/or churches the authority to disband every church that does not meet their own self-conceived criteria for being a church. The Roman Catholics use Mat. 16:19 as their authority to make new laws and doctrines. That is not included for we can only bind on earth that which has already been bound in heaven.
6. To whom or what was the Holy Spirit speaking when he said; "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them "? Editor: Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. If one will find the antecedent of the pronoun they in this context he will arrive at the correct answer. Of course, the entire church was involved as may be seen from the rest of the book of Acts. What nouns are the antecedents of the pronoun they in the verse?
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DEPARTURE IS AT HAND
By Wayne Camp
By the time this is published and mailed, the Lees, along with Dr. Darling, a pediatrician from Tupelo, Mississippi, will be ready to leave for Thailand. The Lees are seen in the picture above with a few of the church members at Thapdua village after "doing" medicine. They are leaving some for the members to use after we were gone. Their departure is on Wednesday, October 15, 2003.
I look forward to joining them on October 29, 2003. My departure is on Monday, October 27, 2003 at 4:15 PM. Please pray for us that we will have a fruitful trip in the Lord's harvest.
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