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Proverbs 31, a note from my husband.

 “The worldly woman gives up her family and her home for herself, but the godly woman gives herself up for her family and home.” ​

     If asked to give a definition of what a good woman should be, what comes to mind? Society today will tell you that she must be independent, successful in business, trendy, attractive, and the life of the party. Monetary and personal acquisitions are the name of the game; by any means necessary. Her ability to cultivate autonomy is unmatched. Never relying on a man to provide for her needs (because he may not be able to provide for her wants), seems to be a virtue worthy of the highest honor and praise. But is this what makes a woman truly happy; all the toys and liberty she can possibly grab? God does not seem to think so…    
    Looking briefly through Proverbs 31, we are given a great foundation in some of the traits a good woman possesses, particularly in the role of a wife and mother, from God’s point of view. This is intended to be a quick overview only and it is highly recommended that you engage a deeper study of your own. Please remember ladies, you are never loved or valued any more or less depending on your ability to perform these tasks; keep in mind that this helps display the condition of the godly woman’s heart, not just her performance.
     An unending and ever expanding love and devotion to God, spiritual and practical wisdom, in addition to moral virtues are the cornerstones of this woman’s character and shows them to be in sharp contrast to those of immoral women. Society puts very little value, if any, on a godly and virtuous woman. God immediately refutes society’s view and places immeasurable value on a woman who is humble (v.30) and obedient. He says an excellent wife is extremely rare and her worth is far exceeding anything money can buy (v.10).
     She honors her husband and is careful to be responsible with the money he provides (v.11). She lives to make him happy with her impeccable loyalty (v.12). She works with her hands to make clothes for her family (vv.13,21,22) and to sell them for profit (v.24). She goes out of her way to get the best for her family, and finds the best prices (v.14). She cheerfully awakes before dawn to begin preparing food (v.15), and is not afraid of rigorous work (v.17). She is wise to invest and reinvest their money because she is very resourceful and entrepeneurial (v.16).
     She is strong and confident; always trusting in the Lord to take care of the future (v.25). Every word out of her mouth is sprinkled with kindness, and she teaches the law to her children with wisdom and mercy (v.26). She is very diligent in her use of time; never wasting it with idleness, making her a skilled manager of the home (v.27). She is not only honored by God, but her children and husband sing her praises as well (v.28).
     It is very difficult for women to ignore what society throws in their face and be loyal to God’s plan for their life instead. And it’s no wonder since these ways of life are pitted on opposing ends of the proverbial spectrum! With the help of the Holy Spirit, Christian women can enjoy true peace and happiness through the fulfillment of their God given roles and an earnest love for Him.
I pray wives are encouraged to “love their husbands, love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the Word of God will not be dishonored.” (Titus 2:4,5)
-David Lightner

The BIRTH CONTROL Issue…Controversy on the Horizon.

Is Birth Control Biblical?

by Tony Warren

    There are very few subjects that cause as much consternation and backlash in today’s Churches as the teaching against birth control. And I believe the reason that there is such a strong reaction to the subject is the self-centered lifestyles that characterize today’s modern society. Christians of our day define birth control as prudent, or an act of compassion and common sense. Others, being only half-honest with themselves, dare to call it “a necessary evil.” But the honest definition is that it is “the willful action of perversion of God’s natural laws of procreation in the sexual union.” Most Christians will readily admit children are a blessing of God, but then they will just as readily admit that they use birth control to delay or altogether prevent this blessing from occurring. So the question is, “why would anyone work so hard to prevent what they admit is a great blessing of God?” Generally speaking, there are five reasons that Christians usually give for practicing birth control (the emphasis is mine).

1. To reduce the number of children God can give.
2. To escape the responsibility of child rearing.
3. To prevent God from blessing a marriage with any Children
4. Because it is “allegedly” a danger to the health of the mother.
5.Because of an “alleged” inability financially to care for them.

To be quite frank, this practice is inherently evil. Because the object is obviously to oppose the divine will of God for the creation of Godly children (Genesis 1:28), and to use personal opinion rather than God’s precepts to govern what is best for us. In simple language, it perverts God’s natural law of procreation, into the carnal and unnatural law of modern man in creation management.

Though birth control and abortion are obviously two separate issues, it cannot be denied that both stem from the very same root of narcissism. The very same vain and self-centered philosophies that thrive in the world have now flooded our Churches. In fact, the exact same excuses are used (often word for word) in man’s attempts to justify birth control, as to justify abortion. They are both frontal assaults on the Biblical principles of procreation. Controlling birth has come to be thought of as a modern era necessity, rather than the corruption of the natural law. That in itself seems to imply that Christians are aware that this is a new teaching born out of modern times. It is the offspring of dual careers, higher expectations for standards of living, and post-modern culture. This should give us all reason for pause, particularly those of the Biblical community who are not so quick to remove the ancient landmarks (proverbs 22:28). For Christians more than anyone should know that the true believer is not to be guided by changing moral values, modernism, or by what has become fashionable in the Church community.

The History of the Church and Birth ControlGranted, this practice is so common today that it is something that most Christians probably simply assume is lawful for them to do. However, when we search through the scriptures we find that there is not one single passage that supports divine approval of any desire to control the number of God-given births. Nevertheless, some theologians put forth an argument for this practice from silence. In other words, because God doesn’t explicitly use the term “Thou shalt not use birth control,”‘ these men say that we should not rule it out. But arguments from silence are by definition based upon nothing, and are thus a faulty defense. By analogy, God doesn’t use the term “child pornography,” but that doesn’t mean that the silence confirms it’s a lawful practice. For the law against it is explicitly (yes, not implicitly) in the scriptures, and just because someone says they don’t actually see it written, doesn’t mean that God is mocked, or that He will not judge. We are “obligated” to carefully search out these things in the scriptures, and the Spirit of God will enlighten us by laying truth upon our hearts.

The fact is, birth control wasn’t even a serious issue in the Church (like so many other modern day perversions of truth) until circa 1930. Churches universally condemned contraception as immoral and unbiblical. Control of birth was in the hands of God, and Christians, rather than rebel against it, humbly submitted to that control. It is only recently that even Reformed Churches have succumbed to this religious declension. It is out of control, and actually nothing more than man usurping control of birth process from God. If you think that is unfair, consider the very terminology of “birth control.” By definition it means man/woman wants to seize control of when life should happen. To take control of something that has been in God’s providence since the beginning of time. For he wants to be his own god, to rule himself. The implication being, “lest God should mistake the burden of a child, with the blessing of a Child.” Of course, they won’t use that terminology, but that’s only because they want to be called Christian, and still be able to live with themselves. Godly trust has gone the way of the dinosaur, and very few Christians mourn its loss.

Proverbs 8:32-33

  • “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”

The self-lessness that has been the characteristic of the historical Christian Churches, has in modern times gone 180 degrees. It is now a looming cloud of self-ishness wherein Christians believe it’s all about us, and about what we want. It’s no longer about what God says or what is His revealed will, it’s about what is our will. And it’s happened so quickly that many Christians are very surprised to learn that the history of the Church has always been solidly anti-birth control, and anti-divorce.It’s almost as if Christians today are living in a time-vacuum, where only what Pastors teach now has any real significance. But history tells a far different story. Men like Martin Luther (the reformer credited with beginning the Protestant Reformation) likened birth control to sodomy, declaring:

“People who do not like children are swine, dunces, and blockheads, not worthy to be called men and women, because they despise the blessing of God, the Creator and Author of marriage”

Likewise, John Calvin (one of the most prominent theologians of the Protestant Reformation), clearly called it murder in stating that:

“The voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is doubly monstrous. For this is to extinguish the hope of the race and to kill before he is born the hoped-for offspring.”“..birth control is the murder of future persons.”

Unlike those who rationalize it away in our day, these men understood the very mindset behind this act, and they didn’t mince words about exactly what the act meant. It’s only in our day of Christian degradation that preachers, in fear of losing members (and in their political correctness), tap dance around this practice.

The Synod of Dort of 1618, issued a Bible commentary which compared birth control to abortion, stating:

“This was even as much, as if he had (in a manner) pulled forth the fruit out of the mother’s womb, and destroyed it.”

No one needs to work very hard to testify of the great list of those who opposed birth control, because the list includes just about everyone! It is evident that all historical Church fathers unanimously opposed birth control. Since the beginning, the Church held that birth control was a clear unbiblical practice (for over 1900 years). All the Church fathers, Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant Reformers alike, all, opposed the use of birth control. In fact, absolutely no Christian group or denomination ever supported this unbiblical use of contraceptives until 1930. It was there at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops that a break in this unanimous Historical Church teaching occurred with their passing of Resolution 15. This resolution reads:

Where there is clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipline and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.
Voting: For 193; Against 67.

Even in this you can hear the strong aversion to birth control, but the point is, from there the floodgates were opened. Though many Protestant denominations at the time vociferously denounced this move, it wasn’t long before even these other Churches caved in to the pressures of modernity, and followed suit. What was once family relationships based on biblical precepts now switched to, “clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood,” (whatever that means). But no one cared what it meant, because it was a convenient excuse to use, in man’s quest to circumvent God’s precepts and limit births. And despite the trailer against, “methods of conception control from motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience,” that is exactly what it has grown to be used for. Another stark example of what happens once you open a small crack in the proverbial wall, or open the Pandora’s box. Even if one’s original motives may have been (humanly speaking) noble but misguided, it inevitably brings ruin. That is why we must give no quarter to the weakening of God’s laws, or of making exceptions, because they inevitably lead to Church decline and even apostasy. A small opening always leads to a gaping hole. The word of God must be strictly kept, and we must not deviate even an inch. And this principle brings to mind the story of Uzza, who nobly (humanly speaking) put forth his hand to steady the Ark of the Covenant, as the Oxen stumbled:

1st Chronicles 13:9-10

  • “And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
  • And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.”

The moral of the story being, God commanded that the Ark should not be touched, Uzza knew that, but he thought that he was being noble (helping) by ignoring God’s precepts, in this instance. The result of such disobedience was not commendation for compassion, but swift and sure condemnation for disobedience. This is a lesson for us all. We cannot practice “situation ethics” when dealing with Biblical principles. They are there for a reason, and we don’t neglect or change them because we feel sorry for someone, or because one might endure some hardship, or because one is poor or very young. God’s laws are not there for the sake of the one, but for the preservation of the whole. God will take care of the one without man wresting or ignoring scripture. Not a sparrow falls to the earth without God’s say so, and we are more important to Him than a bird. But once you open that Pandora’s box even just a crack, it is very hard (if not impossible), to close it. And that’s just what happened at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops, which had previously in both 1908 and 1920, condemned contraception. Just ten years later they broke and opened up that box a crack, and the eventual result is that the Church is now in shambles with regards to this historical and Biblical teaching.

There is now a great disdain and disrespect for motherhood, and distaste for rearing children. The unfaithful leaders of the Church were (humanly speaking) just trying to ease some hardship, but what they neglected was their betrothal to Christ, and thus obedience to the Word of God. It was very simply the Church succumbing to cultural, social, and moral change. It was the Church getting in step with the popular secular ideas of the day. Effectively, what these Bishops at the Lambeth Conference did was to declare that the Church had been totally wrong for the last 1,900 years since Christ with regards to birth control. And they would put forth a resolution endeavoring to correct this error of the Church. This arrogance was without so much as one single scripture that supported man controlling birth or limiting the number of blessings of children. This not only undermined the scriptures, but the historic Church teaching, and also the historic Protestant principle that the scriptures alone are the ultimate authority on Church doctrine and rule of faith (Sola Scriptura).

It is indeed disgraceful today that Protestant, and even Reformed Protestant opposition to birth control, has largely become non-existentin our day. The opening of the Pandora’s box is just one of many steps which led to a weakening of Christian self-lessness, character, morality, and brought a degeneracy to Christian family life. What followed was the dismissal of the doctrine of the sanctity and indissoluble nature of covenant marriage. Thus doctrines against divorce were weakened. It wasn’t long after this that the Christian family unit lay in ruins, so that there is hardly any difference between the Christian divorce rate and the world’s. And the response by the Church leaders who gave rise to these changes is (generally) to scratch their collective heads, denying having any part in this change of climate and attitude.

The Biblical EthicsWhat about the biblical ethics of ignoring over 1900 years of Church history, and arbitrarily deciding that we have the right to prevent the natural cycle of birth, without one single verse of scripture which clearly supports such a change.

Proverbs 22:28

  • “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”

If our fathers gleaned their doctrines from the word of God, and wouldn’t go beyond the boundary of what was in scripture, why would we remove the marks of those bounds? The answer (unfortunately) is that modern man has developed a prideful contempt for the Lordship of Christ in all things. He wants control of his own life and so won’t surrender his crown, that Christ be Lord in this area of his life. In essence, he surmises that God won’t be vigilant or understanding of his wants, and so decides to seize control of the creation process for himself. In this he is replacing the will of God, with the will of man. And when that happens, man is destined for a fall. Can man understand better than God can what we are, and not able to handle in our lives? This seems to be the subconscious conclusions reached in the Church today.

I’m sure I’ll receive the typical letters protesting that this is an unfair way to put it. But truly it is not. It may be a brutally honest way to put it, but it is hardly unfair. The unadulterated truth is that our lives, our time, our money, our talents, our efforts, and indeed our very bodies belong to Christ. The problem is, many people today have begun to idolize themselves, or positionally place themselves on the throne to speak for God, and they simply will not accept Christian admonition. Let us not forget that we are bondservants, and God has ‘promised’ that He would both provide for us, and that He would not put upon us more trial than we are able to bear. People today just don’t want to hear that anymore. They start to murmur (as the children in the wilderness) the minute faithful Christians bring up any idea about returning to faithful precepts concerning birth control.

1st Corinthians 10:10-15

  • “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
  • Now all these things happened unto them for examples:and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
  • 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.
  • Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
  • I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.”

It is truly said, “we learn from Church history, that we do not learn from Church history.” These things are examples written for our admonition, that we not serve man created gods, but serve the God of the Bible. If we want divine direction we should trust in the Lord, rather than ourselves. For 1900 years the Church had no problem with bearing what God put upon them, but modern Christians have a great problem with this historical truth. And they have, for all intents and purposes, abandoned trust in God in this area.

Another protest that people make is that, “Procreation is not the only reason for sexual relations.” To that I would agree, but it is the major reason. The sexual act clearly has two purposes. The first is for the creation of God fearing offspring, and the second is for emotional satisfaction and fulfillment when bonding in the “one flesh” intimacies of the marriage union sexual relationship. Birth control idolatrously abrogates the first, and it elevates the second to the position of the sole purpose. This is a deliberate perversion of what God intended from the beginning. The sexual bonding is an expression of the God blessed intimacy between two people, which marriage is the institution of. Two become one flesh, indivisible because they are no longer two before God. And this marriage bond, demonstrated in the love of the husband for the wife, God uses as a symbol for the love of Christ for His Church. The two purposes in marriage of bonding, and procreation were both ordained to work together, hand in hand, the fulfillment of the will of God that we multiply and fill the earth. But now man has cheapened God’s law by his desire for “cheap” intimacy. In love of Himself, he (like Onan) wants pleasure without responsibility or intimacy’s natural results. I remember when young men looked forward to responsibility, now they disdain it as if it were filth. Man/Woman has lost that commitment that “in all things,” we do to the glory of God.

What couples in the Church are effectively saying is, “we don’t trust God with our lives, because He’ll give us more kids than we can handle.” It’s really no more complicated than that. Sure, many rationalize and try to complicate the issue with medical reasons, time constraints, financial reasons, etc., but you know as well as I do (if you are honest with yourself) that over 95 percent of birth control in the Church has nothing to do with medical or finances. When God is not the head of the body, rationalizations follow and the body is without authority. And without authority, we get these types of perversions in the Church. A Church without a head is directionless. So that what God says is a good thing (procreation) is now seen as something abhorred and not desired. When selfishness is the common denominator, Jesus Christ is not the center of our lives, nor the head of the body. We are in spiritual idolatry. The love of God has grown cold and there is a love of self to warm us. And in it we surmise that our action of preventing God from working in us the normal act of creation, is really a Christian thing. We take our eyes off Christ, and put them on ourselves so as to ignore the word of God teaching that children are an unmitigated blessing. We won’t accept admonition, nor honestly consider the practice invalid Biblically, nor come to recognize the bottom line purpose of birth control. The question is, can it be Biblically ethical to play God to decide when someone will be born, or not born, or was that decision meant to be in God’s providence? It’s a question which grates upon the nerves of those who “don’t like” the obvious answer. Where is it written that man should control the time of creation? What chapter and verse is this teaching found? And if God didn’t speak this as truth, what idol are we worshipping that did?

It wasn’t long ago that we viewed children as an asset, and now, because we have bought into society’s managed Parenthood mentality, and the modern disdain for responsibility, they are viewed as a liability, hindrance, nuisance, and burden. Parents with large families are looked at as if they are stupid, naive, gullible, or retarded. This is how far we’ve fallen from the faith, that children are now inconveniences that interfere with our lifestyles, rather than the heritage that we shouldn’t be able to get enough of.

Psalms 127:3-5

  • “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
  • As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
  • Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Happy is the man that has his quiver full of them? Could God be wrong, or has man simply replaced God in the temple with an image of himself? The question is, do we believe man or God? Are Children a reward, a heritage of the Lord, or are they the curse and burden that modern society works so hard at promulgating? To the faithful, they are a gift from God. To the unfaithful, they are a dept. The faithful are happy to have their quiver full of them, while the unfaithful literally cringe at such a horrid thought. Today’s mothers, by rejecting this gift out of hand, in essence are saying to God, “I don’t want your gift, because I don’t look at it as a gift.” And when we get right down to it, isn’t that the real problem? They just don’t want this heritage, they lust for leisure and convenience instead. Christians, in greater numbers, are falling in line with the reprobates, not only on this, but on other sticky issue and doctrines as well.

If God is the giver of children, then birth control is man taking God down a notch, making sure that He doesn’t give them anymore. It is the determination of man to oppose the divine will. For God’s will of blessing a relationship with children to be done, He will “quite literally” have to work a miracle within the body, to override man’s contraceptive measures. To be sure, God both can, and has done this, but are we to tempt God this way? Must God go to such lengths in order that His divine will in creating children within the Christian family come to fruition? Is this what Christianity and service to God has come down to? Has man deteriorated so that he is seeking to put up roadblocks to God’s natural creation process, hoping God doesn’t break through? Sadly, this is exactly where we are today.

Some theologians have even begun to teach that God is not responsible for putting children in the womb, claiming the responsibility belongs to the couples involved. But in order to believe this, they must ignore the myriad of scriptures that declare that God does take responsibility, or privately interpret them to mean just the opposite of what they say. For all scripture reveals that the creation of the fruit of the womb is God’s providence. The teaching against this truth may be popular in our day, but it is not Biblical and has not ever been the historical Church teaching. But whether we receive what is written or not depends upon whom is sitting in the Temple as our Authority. It is either the Word of God, or the modern image man has placed there.

Jeremiah 1:5

  • “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Note the words of men that “God does not put babies in the womb,” and the diametrically opposed words of the living God that He indeed is the one “who forms those in the Womb.” Many believe that the greatest creation of God was the earth, heaven, or universe, but truly it was man whom God put therein. It can only be arrogance that leads men to say God doesn’t create children in the womb, but wisdom and spiritual understanding reveals He did. He created both the good and the bad. He is the sovereign creator that He raises up kings and he puts down kings. Without His say so, not one child is born, not one child will die, and not one sparrow will fall to the earth. For even the very hairs of our head are numbered. Nevertheless, His divine sovereignty over all does not mean that we can tempt Him by attempting to prevent the creation of children. Nor by rationalizing that it is lawful because God can cause a pregnancy anyway, because He sovereign. That would be akin to saying, “since no child dies except God allow it, we’ll allow abortions, because if it’s not God’s will, that child won’t be aborted.” It’s totally ridiculous logic, and the callous action of tempting God. And likewise, so is the argument that God can circumvent birth control, if He wants.

God didn’t only form Jeremiah in the womb, He formed us all. This truth is far less palatable in our day than it once was. Nevertheless, it is the truth of God’s word. We can play god, feigning that it’s our decision when to create a life, even thinking to thwart God’s creation plans by circumventing the natural (God Ordained) blessings of life, but God is not mocked. The humble faithful Christian will surrender to the authority of the word of God, understanding that it is Him, and not us who creates in the womb.

Job 31:15

  • “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not One fashion us in the womb?

Job 33:4

  • “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.”

Psalms 119:73

  • “JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”

The choice seems clear. We can continue to rationalize and deny what is clearly in the scriptures, or we can abide by the word of God and admit that God forms us all in the womb, the same as He did Jeremiah. It always gets back to that one age-old question. Who is our authority, and whom are we going to believe? Will it be the word of God, or the humanistic rationalizations of men?

Has the child come forth from the womb and the Lord has not done it? We do God a great disservice denying that it is His call, or that He is the ruling creation power. Sure, we want to wrest that power from God that our own will be done, but has what God said become a lie?

Romans 9:20

  • “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”
  • Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

Likewise, shall the man formed say to God that formed him, “you have not really done it?” Shall couples attempting to thwart what God can form declare, “He does not really do it?” Is this language I use unfair? No, it’s an honest and straightforward evaluation of the issue. Only in the mind of man is it unfair because he doesn’t want to face this question honestly. He doesn’t want to accept the first principle that God, and not couples, is the one who forms, or not form children in the womb. From the beginning of time God had control of birth, until our day when man in his obstinate heart decided that it would be better for him if he controlled the blessings of children. And after he teaches this rebellion, he smiles, wipes his mouth and says in the old mantra of old, “..what evil hath we done?

There is no command not to use birth ControlThe declaration that there is no explicit command against it, and therefore it is in the realm of Christian liberty, is another excuse that is without Biblical foundation. Because when God gave the very first command to man, it was a command that is ‘antithetical to birth control.’

Genesis 1:28

  • “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

You cannot have a command by God that is the exact opposite of birth control, while at the same time profess that there is no command against birth control. It makes no sense.

Christians are commanded to fulfill one of the purposes of marriage, which is to beget children. The command of God to man is to “be fruitful,” multiply and fill the earth. That very first command of God has ‘never’ been abrogated. For the Christian is to bring forth Godly children with joy, teaching them of obedience and rejoicing in this blessing of posterity. But some Christians have put forth the retort, “but this does not mean that man is to go on multiplying once the earth has been filled.” This of course presupposes that the earth is filled, and that God left it up to man not only to decide that for himself, but also to decide how much he should limit the creation of children. This as ifman could ever decide righteously (being desperately wicked and having no good in Him). To be fruitful and multiply was not a suggestion, it was the first command. By virtue of this fact, God has indeed spoken against birth control for His people.

There are those who reluctantly accept this truth, yet distressfully reply, “yes, but this was a command to Adam and Eve, Noah and Israel, but not to us today.” The answer to that is simple, Adam and Eve couldn’t fill the earth, nor could Noah. The command was to them and their progeny who would listen to the word of God and abide by it. God knows this world is evil, but God’s children are supposed to be led of the Spirit to be the light of the world. For a world like this needs righteous families with lots of righteous children as a heritage, and God has instructed us to bring forth this righteous seed. And if we, as Christians, do not do it, who will? It will be in the natural process of assimilation that the Godly will diminish, and the wicked will increase if we are not fruitful and multiplying. The children of Israel didn’t multiply in Egypt simply by coincidence, it was God breathed. And God also accelerated the birth of children to His people Israel to make a great nation, a representation of His true family. God knows what He is doing even when we do not. As Godly children decrease, the ungodly increase. And birth control among Christians is just another brick in the wall separating God from man.

In short, there indeed is biblical mandate against birth control. Both in the definition of what it is (Preventing God from producing Godly seed), and in rebelling against God’s first command to men to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. Birth control is antithetical to God’s word, and it is effectively the carnal reply to God’s people, “do not be fruitful, and do not fill the earth, but limit the number of children of Israel.” When one cannot understand that, it is only because he doesn’t really want to understand it.

We can’t afford them, so we shouldn’t have themThis is usually simply nothing but self-serving rhetoric, so let’s not be coy about it. When we really get down to the real issue, it is not really a question of economics, it’s a question of will. Despite our propensity for complaining, we are by far the most affluent society in human history, and moreover, we have one of the lowest birth rates. So this, “we can’t afford them” line is quite obviously contrived. This lack of trust in worrying if God will provide is something that is new to rebellious man.

Psalms 78:19-20

  • “Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
  • Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?”

This murmuring about God providing is a convenient excuse, and is simply a demonstration of the lack of faith in God. He has always provided. Sure, we can continue to kid ourselves, but it’s not even debatable. When man doesn’t want something, he will inevitably find an excuse that he can use to rationalize his action in not receiving it. It’s a tactic almost as old as dirt. God is not an impotent God, He has always provided for His people, and if He creates a child in the womb, He will provide us with both the time and the money necessary to care for it. Maybe not in the affluent lifestyle that today passes for normal, but He will provide. From the beginning of time He has done so with much poorer people than there are today.

Philippians 4:6

  • “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

In all the years of the world God has never let His people down. The truth is, it’s not really about our ability to be able to provide, the real thorny issue is how they will take away from our own pleasure. Blow away all the smoke and that “is” the real issue. It permeates every aspect of this modern age. There has been, and continues to be a growing social pressure on couples not to have more than two children, and to look upon many children as both undesirable, and a sign of ignorance. There has been a stigma placed on those who have more than one or two, that they are backward and uneducated. But in the end, no one will be able to hide their sin from God behind reviling, carnal reasoning or philosophical rationalizations.

Isaiah 29:15-16

  • “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
  • Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”

To the world, you may seem backward in your obedience to God, but to the Potter, you will be traveling in the right direction.

The world complains, “In this day and age, a large family is no a real asset for most people.” The idea being, why would anyone want a large family? Why indeed, with the selfish attitude of the spoiled group of individuals who care only about their standard of living and their lifestyle on this earth. Their mind is not on Christ, but upon their second car, their cell phones, their expensive toys, their new carpet, or their 200-channel cable. These are the people we call modern Christians, and the things we (incredibly) call, necessities of life. Our children have been given way too much already without earning it. They don’t have too few of the material things, they are (generally speaking) spoiled rotten. One reason why large Christian families of old tended to be a more responsible, tight-knit, hard-working family, is because they were not as spoiled, could relate to hardship, cooperation, responsibility, sacrifice and siblings, because they’ve been around it, and helped care for children. Why would modern society think this a bad thing? When you have to struggle to get something, you will appreciate it all the more.

When we start having children based upon how much they can do for us, or how much they will take from us, then we’ve missed the whole Biblical point. And I’m sorry to say that it appears that our Christian Churches have to a large degree, missed the point of the blessings God says are in children.

One of the most ridiculous and indeed ludicrous rationalizations of all, is this whining about how we do not live in a world where it is possible to afford to take care of them. Americans never whine about affording or being able to care for anything until children are mentioned. Isn’t it amazing (at least to me) that we live in a world where it is impossible to take care of more than 2.3 children, but we can care for our cars, homes, vacations, air conditioners, new carpets, bank accounts, college funds, ad-nauseum? Are all these things of more value than the children of the Lord? Are they of more importance than bringing our children up in the fear and nurture of the Lord? Apparently, to most folks they are. This, “poor me” attitude is disingenuous. We are the richest country in the world, and even our poor would look like the blessed compared to the genuinely poor of the world. Ironically, some even use these poor of the rest of the world to justify their not having children. They say that we cannot leave it up to God in our overpopulating the world, because that’s irresponsible. They talk about trusting God in the area of finances, in health, and in jobs. But these same people recoil violently at the biblical teaching to trust God in the area of having Children. They simply will not submit to God’s will in child bearing, which is one of the most important aspects of our lives, after bringing the gospel. Strangely enough, this one area of their lives they want to retain lordship over. God can be Lord of their lives in accepting a job, choosing a Church, in finances, and in politics. But when it comes to children, effectively it’s, “hands off God, I’ll make my own decisions based not on scripture, but upon what I think is best for me.” The same selfish attitude that people have demonstrated in their support of abortion. i.e., “it’s my body, I’ll do what I want, because I don’t believe it’s wrong.”

1st Corinthians 6:19

  • “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

A body with two heads is an abomination. A temple with two rulers is confusion. And we cannot both be Lord of our own lives, and have Christ as Lord of our lives. To be sure, the Holy Spirit within us does not tell us that we need to prevent births because it will cramp our lifestyle, or we can’t afford it, or because they are too much trouble for us. We tell ourselves this lie. Heaven forbid we should lay this justification at the feet of God.

Does anyone actually think that people had it better 2000 years ago, and they could abide by God’s Laws, but we feign ourselves so poor now that we can’t afford it? As stated, when people don’t want something, they can always find a rationalization why they shouldn’t have it. e.g., abortion isn’t selfishness and taking a life, it’s now portrayed as actually having compassion for the unborn, and as preserving the quality of life. And divorce is no longer a separating of what God has joined together, it’s actually portrayed as a God ordained separating of what was never meant to be joined in the first place. They say God didn’t really mean that men were to have headship over women, it was just Paul speaking because of the culture and times that he lived in. Black is now White, Hot is now Cold, and Up is now Down. Nevertheless, the adage applies that, “you can say a tree isn’t wood, but it will still burn.” Likewise, God is not mocked by perversion of truth, He discerns between soul and spirit, joint and marrow, and He knows the heart of man better than man does. Ultimately, man is not getting away with anything by his rationalizations.

Common sense and God given wisdom teaches us to family planThere was a time when Christians believed there was no difference between common sense, and what the Bible said. They were deemed, one and the same as it was common sense to accept what the Bible said. Likewise, wisdom was found in the word of God, not in the social workers of society. Birth control is not only absent from God’s word (apart from God’s controlling it), it is antithetical to its collective teachings. This “so called” common sense and wisdom to know birth control is good, is nothing but secular humanism. It’s the same old-fashioned “will of man” that has always taken offense at God’s precepts. We can try to hide the truth of this rebellion under a facade of words like, “common sense, good intentions, and God given wisdom” if we like. But God looks upon the heart, and He knows the true motives of men better than those men who are deceived by their own lusts.

Isaiah 29:15-16

  • “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
  • Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

Who sees us, who knows us, who can look beyond the rationalizations? God can, and He does! We can say right is wrong, and wrong is right, and we can say birth control is a blessing of the Lord, but those are just our private interpretations. We can claim that too many children are a hindrance to Godliness, when God says it’s a heritage, but surely this turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. It’s not God given wisdom, it is the wisdom of the world, and the spirit of disobedience working within man to pervert the truth. The truth that this is not our home, we are strangers and pilgrims here, just passing through. Some Christians are getting far too comfortable here.

Psalms 90:12

  • “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Tue wisdom teaches us to “number our days,” not our children, that we might apply our hearts unto wisdom. This life is just a way station, we are only servants here working for Christ. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

And that is what many of today’s Christians have forgotten as they treat this world “as if” it is all there is, and that having many children will get in the way of their enjoying “this life” to the fullest. They are self-centered, instead of God-centered. Our true purpose is to serve God, not to serve ourselves. Applying our hearts and numbering our days means to treat every day like it was the last, heaping up treasures in heaven which moth does not eat, nor rust corrupt. Children are a heritage of the lord, and God’s children take that declaration to heart. There is an old German proverb that says:

Many children make many prayers, and many prayers bring much blessing.”

Now there was a man who had the right idea. Sadly, today we are constantly bombarded with quaint little colloquialisms like, “we shouldn’t be pumping out babies just to fulfill religious doctrine,” but that should not be dissuasive to us. Even though we hear this from those professing serious Christianity, and not from obvious reprobates, we should not let it be a stumbling block to us.

Will taking this action cause us to be looked down upon by society as religious fanatics, foolish, illiterate, or even animalistic? Yes, most likely. But it has always been the lot of the true Church to be reviled and looked down upon. If we can’t handle that, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith (2nd Corinthians 13:5). Because as Jesus said, in the world, we “shall” have tribulation, and “woe are you when all men speak well of you.” If the world started saying, “I am absolutely right, and people shouldn’t practice birth control,” that is when I would begin to worry. The world doesn’t want to hear the truth, and that includes a good percentage of the corporate Church today.

We need to face the reality that secular humanism has crept up from the world into our Churches. But the real irony is that it is professing Christians that were the ones holding the door open for it. By rationalizing away God’s precepts, they became friends with the world and at enmity with God.

Another thing that we keep hearing is how God gave us a mind to think, and what those who have the mind of Christ would do. As I was told by one Christian, “we have to use our own heads in this, and understand that God did not create fools or irrational people.” This is true. Nevertheless, there are fools and irrational people in the Church and they are most notably, those who do what is right in their own eyes, thinking that they are wiser than God. It is those who “think” they know better than He does what is best for them.

Proverbs 12:15

  • “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise”.

Yes, God didn’t create fools, nevertheless, there are fools who grow from what God has created. They are, by biblical definition, men and women who think that what seems right in their own eyes is the prudent and wise thing to do. Those who think that we should decide for ourselves, rather than obediently follow what is written in God’s word. On the other hand, the wise hearken unto the counsel of the Lord.

Proverbs 10:8

  • “The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.”

Proverbs 19:20

  • “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.”

Wise counsel is not in my words, or some other theologian’s words, it is the word of the living God received as the truth. Anyone can (in a prideful and arrogant spirit) make an excuse for not hearkening to the counsel of the Lord, but humility and meekness is the fruit of the Spirit. Again, it should not go unnoticed that all these excuses are the very same excuses and reasons that people give for not condemning abortion. i.e., that God didn’t make any fools, that He gave us brains to think it out and do what is best, that the world is overpopulated, that people can’t afford more kids, for health reasons, or because it’s their own body under their own control. It’s the same old game under a different name, but the rationalization is direct from the foolish heart of man. A disobedient and desperately wicked heart that says children are an unwanted burden, and that we are justified in desiring freedom from that burden. Carnal man searches himself for answers, while Christians, by Grace of God, search the word of God for answers.

Romans 12:2

  • “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Those who are transformed of the Spirit to follow the mind of Christ will want to earnestly do the will of God, not make every rationalization for preventing birth. The Spirit is grieved when we read God’s word declaring that He forms us in the womb, and our mind and thoughts are that we should have that authority. The mind conformed to Christ doesn’t read God’s command to be fruitful and multiply, and that children are a heritage of the lord, and degrade it with modernist rhetoric about “pumping out babies just to fulfill religious dogma.” For the mind of Christ is spiritual, and not antithetical to itself. It is antithetical to the natural or carnal mind.

1st Corinthians 2:14-16

  • “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
  • But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
  • For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

How do we know we have the mind of Christ? It is made manifest when we keep His word and receive the things of God. We will have a fervent desire to be obedient to commands that seem as foolishness to most others. To the natural man, allowing God to control birth is gullible and foolish. But man’s foolishness is God’s Wisdom, and man’s wisdom is foolishness to God.

1st Corinthians 3:19

  • “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.”

Is accepting the control of birth that is in God’s providence foolish, or is having more than a few kids animalistic as charged? God Forbid! The truth is, animals do “whatever they want to do.” Likewise, the beast called carnal man does the exact same thing. Which is why He’s called a beast in scripture. However, a true Christian is not a brute beast that he will do whatever he wants, when he wants to do it. This is what separates the lawful man from the man without law. One does “what God says” and the other makes excuses. In other words, one has the mind of Christ to do as the Spirit leads, and the other does whatever “he” thinks is right in his own eyes.

Proverbs 16:2

  • “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.”

The man of God doesn’t do whatever is right in his own eyes, he does what is commanded in the law. This is seen as foolishness by the world, but that’s what separates the new creature from the two footed, clothes-wearing beasts of the earth. The beasts that want to wrest control from God that they have all the pleasures of the sexual union, and none of the results or responsibilities. Generally speaking, even an animal is better than that. A professing Christian once said to me:

if those who are servants of God and are married should inquire of God as to how many children they can afford or should have, then let God deal with them on an individual basis.”

That’s all well and good, but God is not speaking from the mountains in a smoke today. God is not speaking from the burning Bush giving directions and instruction. God speaks through His Holy word. The way we inquire of God today is by reading His word and abiding by what it says as the rule of law and guidance for our lives. God could have very easily said to the Church, “if you cannot afford many Children, curb your activity or use your own judgment of what seems right in your own eyes.” But God not only didn’t do that, all throughout scripture we see children as a blessing of God, and the larger number of children, the greater blessing from the Lord it is seen as. The women of the Bible were overjoyed when they had many Children. It was a source of Godly pride, not a source for ridicule and disdain as it is today. We should understand that it is not the Bible that has changed, it’s man’s attitude towards the Bible. God’s word is immutable and doesn’t change in accordance with the times.

Moreover, we don’t ask the Lord how many children we should have in accordance with the times, God will give us the number of Children he wants in accordance to His will. He always has, and He always will. Even in the midst of total rebellion against His sovereignty. This whole idea of, “I’ll ask God,” as if God is in the closet and going to speak from a smoke like the Wizard of Oz, is ultimately self-serving. We don’t ask God, God will give to us the number of children He wishes. That is the way it has been since the beginning until modern times of rebellion.

1st Chronicles 25:5

  • “All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.”

Had Heman lived in our day, most of today’s professing Christians would seek to deny God gave him these children, and self-righteously call him irresponsible for having so many kids. This is because they have a cultural and social worldview, rather than a Biblical view of the world. Did God give Heman all these children to financially or physically burden him? The answer is no. God did this as a blessing, and the historical Church received these blessings with joy. Yet it amazes me how professed Christians today will vehemently deny that God is the giver of children, and effectively reject all teaching that they are a blessing. Even as they read all the clear scriptures that declare it. The question then is, what does that say about the Church and the condition of the heart? It’s not an issue of God putting on us more than we can handle, because the faithful have always handled it. They believed God, and He has already said that he wouldn’t put more on us than we can handle.

1st Corinthians 10:13

  • “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.”

Modern Christianity says, “wrong God, you’ve put on me more than I can bear, and I won’t have it!” It’s like the old parable of how we are sent into a room full of crosses to select one for ourselves. Do we select the smallest one we can find? Well, yes, that is what we would do “naturally,” but is that the cross God wants us to bear? That is the real question. Shall we be the natural man and do what the natural man would do, or are we a different creation from the natural man. Do we have a King, or are we without a King where everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes? Are we our own kings who sit and rule in God’s Temple, or is God seated and we ruled over by Him? Do we go our own way, or do we go as God provides? All these questions basically ask, “are we children of God, or are we children of the world?” When the Church becomes just like the world, then the Church is committing spiritual fornication. Christ bethrothed us to be a woman “set apart” for the service of God. Not proud in our own lusts like the world, but humble and obedient where His Grace is sufficient. If we submit ourselves to God’s will, ultimately, nothing but good will come from it.

James 4:4-7

  • “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
  • Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
  • But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
  • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Humility means putting others first and obeying God as a lowly servant. I have had some women protest that it is easy for me to say these things, because I’m a man. I address this objection with a sound, no. It is not easy for me to say these things. What would be easy is for me to fall into line with the vast majority of the Church that is for Birth control. Nor am I unsympathetic to those with the greater part of rearing children. Nevertheless, we are to take our eyes off ourselves, put them on Christ, and He will see that we are able to be faithful. Nor is having more children easy for the man, or husband, as some charge. And this is particularly true in our day. Parenting is a shared responsibility, and the truth be known, it is probably more likely that men are as adamant against having more children as women. Many even more so. And for some of the same reasons, the highest of which is selfishness. It’s a lot of trouble, extra time, care, and extra money going out which they’d rather use on themselves. Many Christians would rather spend an hour watching a drama or three hours watching a football game, than one half hour rearing their children. No, men don’t generally want more children today anymore than women do. This truly has become “The me generation,” an age of selfishness. Men or women, black or white, Jew or gentile, it’s all about self, and gender has nothing to do with it.

The Onan episode was not judgement for birth control?The story of Tamar and Onan (Genesis 38) is an example that is often used to show that God’s wrath is upon those who would practice birth control. Tamar, who was married to Er, had no children when her husband Er died. But there is a law illustrated in Deuteronomy that commands his brother to raise up seed in his stead.

Deuteronomy 25:5-6

  • “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
  • And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.”

Therefore according to law, Er’s surviving brother Onan is commanded by Judah (their father) to have intercourse with Tamar to raise up children for his brother’s house.

Genesis 38:8-10

  • “And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
  • And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother.
  • “And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.”

The first recorded act of birth control, and God took drastic mortal action to let us all know that this act was abhorrent to Him. In the historic Church for over 1900 years, there has never been controversy over what this meant, but in modern times there are those seeking to rationalize this action away for self-serving purposes. Those who choose to ignore the obvious, and make the wholly subjective claim that God didn’t actually kill Onan because of the birth control action (spilling semen on the ground), but because He disobeyed.

First of all, He didn’t disobey the command to go into her, the disobedience came in that ‘after He did this,’He practiced contraception (birth Control or prevention of conception). You cannot separate the contraception from the command to go into her that she conceives, unless for some reason we are predisposed to doing so. Second, the penalty for mere disobedience in this matter was not death, but that he should have his shoe loosed from his foot, and the woman spit in his face, and thereafter he be known as The house of him that hath his shoe loosed, as is illustrated in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 25:7-10

  • “And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
  • Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
  • Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.
  • And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.”

And so it is clear that he was not struck down because he disobeyed taking the woman and raising up seed. There was a law governing that. But because He took her and then practiced birth control. This is what displeased God. Onan, just as those professing Christians today, want to enjoy all the pleasure of sexual relations, but did not ‘want’ any of the results or responsibility for it. Does that sound familiar? And God wants us to know that this brought His wrath upon Him. To try to obfuscate the issue of this episode by saying it was only because He disobeyed God, is spurious. If He hadn’t gone into her at all, he would have still disobeyed God, but as God inspired it to be written, it wasn’t an offense that called for this action. The penalty was to be called the loosed shoe. Obviously, the death penalty was because after he went in unto her, in rebellion against God’s law he spilled his semen on the ground. It was not because He didn’t obey Judah or God’s law, there was a measured response for that, it was because after he did, He spilled it on the ground (controlling birth). And the ‘proof’ of this is that if he had went in unto her, and not practiced birth control, there would be no law broken. Many people disobeyed God, including the elect, but God didn’t strike them down dead on the spot. Such actions are reserved as ‘illustrations’ for special cases, as with the episode of the oxen stumbling (1st Chronicles 13:9-10). i.e., there is a special lesson there, as there is a special lesson here. And let he who hath the Spirit, and an ear to hear it, hear it.

The Holy Spirit leads us to do this, to better serve the Lord?One of the lowest rationalizations is that some Christians are claiming that it is the Holy Spirit that leads people to limit births so that they may better serve the Lord, without all the distractions. Yet who is to decide how we may better serve the Lord? Is it the Lord who decides, or is it us? And is it the Spirit of the Lord that leads Christians with a mind to think that rearing many children in the fear and nurture of the Lord is not a Godly act, or is it the spirit of man? Is it the will of God that Christians limit the number of children they have, or is it the will of man? Is this God’s view of service to Him, or is this self-serving modernism?

I was actually asked (in all seriousness) how a woman would even have time to serve God or to grow in the Lord, with so many children. According to scripture, child rearing is in service to the Lord, and is a means of growth in the Lord. I know that in our day raising Godly children has been looked upon as is a vocation on a par with collecting garbage, but the truth is that this is a great Godly vocation that is not to be disparaged. When I hear people complaining so, it is almost as if they are implying that it was wrong for God to have made women so they could have many children, knowing that it is such a hardship. Of course, they would never use those actual words, but the intent of the heart is very plain. This is the mind of secular humanism and has crept up into our Churches and has replaced authority of scripture. It comes in cloaked in a facade of “this is unhealthy” and to prevent this we’ll be “serving God better.” But just how do we serve God better? I would venture to say the woman of 50-100 years ago with six kids “in general,” served God a lot better than the self-righteous one today who has one or two children. It had nothing to do with how much money she made or how many children she had. Her attitude towards child rearing had to do with her upbringing, her outlook, her stewardship, her sense of motherhood and responsibility, and a Godly morality.

The historic Church condemned all methods of birth control as immoral because their only “authority” was the scriptures, and thus they understood birth control was the perversion of the natural order of things. They understood this act to be a violation of God’s moral law. The Holy Spirit didn’t lead anyone to think having more than two children was unwise. If I were these Theologians who dare make such claims, I would be very careful not to lay this blasphemous charge against God.

Ezekiel 22:28

  • “And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”

It is a serious offense against God to declare that He says things that He has not said. And He most certainly did not say that, “these are modern times and now it is permissible to ignore his precepts about children being a blessing of God.”

I only want two children, and besides,
If it is God’s will, we’ll have more anyway
What we want is secondary with true Christianity. Our mindset should be, “not my will, but thine be done O’ Lord.” As in the example of Paul seeking three times that his thorn in the flesh be removed (2nd Corinthians 12:8). But after three times God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Thus Paul went on in the understanding that it was not His will, but God’s will that is to be done. And he was able to bear it. Likewise, what we want is not the issue. It’s what is the will of God that should be the first principle and determining factor. And all through His word God has made His will well known on this issue. Be fruitful and multiply, children are a blessing, and children are a heritage of the Lord.

Proverbs 17:6

  • “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”

Again, it is self-serving and hypocritical to attempt to turn God’s precepts upside down with the rationalization that, “if God wills, there is nothing (including a vasectomy) that will stop God from causing the conception of a child in the womb.” And to add insult to injury, they often add, “..because God is sovereign.”

Matthew 23:27-28

  • “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
  • Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

Saying that God is sovereign, while doing all that we can to usurp that sovereignty and become our own ruler, is the absolute height of hypocrisy. To be sure, God is sovereign. But that doesn’t mean that we would cross the street without looking both ways because we won’t die unless it’s our time to die. That is not an exercise in acknowledging sovereignty, it is a exercise in “tempting the Lord.” That’s like saying, we’ll go ahead and sin because God works within the Christian to keep him from sinning. ..the whole premise is both rationally and logically flawed.

Matthew 4:7

  • “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

Saying I’ll practice birth control and leave it up to God if I should have more children is an oxymoron. It is breaking the commandment of God that we not tempt Him.

And the idea that if we don’t use birth control we’ll have twenty children is more myth and scare tactic than truth. The birth of children will not be unlimited (it never has been), God will give a certain number as He chooses. And even if there is a large family, no one has many children all at once. The older children brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord will help with the younger children, and child bearing will naturally cease after a certain God ordained point. It is not the end of the world, despite today’s social harbingers of doom. I’m assuming I’m talking to a Christian audience who will, God willing, raise up Godly children. The theologian Jonathan Edwards was the eleventh child in his family. We can praise the Lord that in His day their parents were not as (so called) enlightened by modern society, to practice birth control.

While social and humanistic ideologies, along with secular arguments against bearing many children have been used to persuade Christians that birth control, and even abortions, is often the best thing for them to do. This act offends God because it goes against His will for the Christian family. Particularly when they make the untenable claim that such action is Spirit led and in the best interest of the family. This is the deception of Satan, the great deceiver who is the father of lies. When we declare we only want so many children, we are saying that we don’t want God’s great Blessing. And to say children are not a blessing from God is to blasphemy, insisting that we know much more than God about what would bless our lives.

Psalms 127:3

  • “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.

Dare man retort, “wrong God, children are a burden, not a reward, a drain on my money, and takes away from my wife serving you as seems right in her own eyes?” Sadly, the carnal minded man thinks that if children are a heritage, then they don’t want much of God’s heritage. Because it’s all about what people want for themselves, not about what God wants for people. Yes, we can tempt God by saying that God could turn stones into children, if that is His plan. But God works through His people to provide a heritage, blessings and Godly seed. The Godly family receives the responsibility given them, and God blesses them as He defines blessings, and as He sees fit.

Alright, but what about the Natural Rhythm MethodI must admit, the rhythm method of birth control is a tricky and much more complicated question. Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear to be consistent with the anti-birth control view. Do we believe that the real sin is in the act of controlling birth, or that the sin is in the method of controlling birth? There is indeed a difference. In the case of birth control by use of artificial contraception, it is clear that the people are participating in an intrinsically unrighteous act. They are taking pills, or using a prophylactic or barrier designed not allow the natural sexual act itself to run it’s course. On the other hand, in practicing the rhythm method (sometimes also called ‘natural family planning’ or NFP), they are simply abstaining from sex at opportune times. The idea being, abstention for short periods of time is not intrinsically evil. Which a case can be made for I suppose, but the real question is, for what purpose?

Those who favor artificial birth control counter proponents of the rhythm method by saying that ultimately it is no different from the artificial method. While this argument does have some merit, it’s not entirely true. There is one obvious difference. The rhythm method puts up no man-made barriers, physical or chemical, to conception. It runs it’s natural course and conception can easily occur anyway. However, I will agree that it appears to me to be biblically inconsistent, and does not glorify God. For it violates the spirit of the law if not the letter of the law because there is still the mindset to thwart the birth process, which is the real sin. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience condone it. I’m sure others will disagree, and I wouldn’t give an absolute answer in this case. It is no sin in selecting times, though neither can I condone the purpose of such action. I believe that the sin is in the purpose, and if the purpose were solely to prevent births, I would have to say I think scripture opposes such action. For the purpose is still to try and stop God from creating a child in the womb, and that (I believe), makes it unlawful.

ConclusionYes, having children can sometimes be a hardship, but it’s always been. What has not always been is today’s “wringing of hands” with regards to rearing children. Anything worth having is worth working for and going through hardship for. Sadly, this is a lesson that the children today, who have everything handed to them on a silver platter, will never learn. As Christians, we don’t cry over hard times or privation, it is a cause for recognizing our need for Christ and our dependence upon Him.

2nd Corinthians 12:9-10

  • “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.”

We don’t wring our hands, we take up our cross and follow Christ rather than the philosophies of the world. When we have the mind of Christ, the will of God is stronger than our own will (the will of Man). The will of man (otherwise known as humanism and carnality) says, two children are more than enough because we don’t need anything that would mean we’d have to actually put forth some effort. It pains me to know that some professing Christians actually think that, “..I go to Church on Sundays, I say my prayers, what more does God want?”  God wants everything! It belongs to Him. If we suffer in the flesh, so be it. It’s His will be done, not our own. We keep His word and do His will by receiving what He has said and being obedient. Not a hearer only, but a doer.

1st Peter 4:1

  • “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
  • That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God”.

Comfort and convenience is not the goal, and we don’t run the race with our selfishness strapped to our backs, we run it with the cross. And we run it in denying ourselves, that God’s will be done. What so many Christians today have lost sight of, is that our reward is in Heaven, and not in the comforts of this life. This world is only stopover on our way to the promised land. We are those “called out” for the purpose of spreading the gospel message. This is not our true home, but too many Christians have made it home, and are far too comfortable in it. This is what has led to the liberalization of Church doctrines, and thinking of children in terms of being a nuisance and a burden, rather than a blessing. The exact opposite of what is the will of God for us to think.

Proverbs 20:6

  • “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
  • The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.”

Indeed, it’s hard to find a faithful couple, but the best inheritance that a Christian couple can leave to their children is their own holy life, an example of obedience to God. A healthy Christian couple’s relationship is founded upon the precepts of family, Christ-like love, scripture, intimacy, and obedience, which includes and transcends mere sexual relations. God given children are a heritage and a healthy part of any Christian family.

Let’s face facts honestly, practicing birth control is in essence an attempt to lock Sovereign God out of one of the most important areas of our lives. Do not think that it is insignificant, for all things that we do are significant, and is an evidence of the condition of our hearts. Reformed Christians, Biblical Christians above all, should know that we must address this question straight forwardly and honestly, and have the contrite spirit to surrender to the authority of scripture over our own selfish motives. We are not the Lord of our lives, Christ is. Therefore, our prayers are not of insistence, but in child-like humility:

Matthew 26:39

  • “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Amen.

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Peace,
Copyright 2000 Tony Warren
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Train them to SUFFER well…

The most difficult task of any parent (if you ask me) is teaching a child to suffer well. I know that I do not want to have to teach my children to “suffer” well. My first instinct is to protect my children from suffering at all. What I must realize is that suffering is essential if they are going to know and understand God’s goodness and His faithfulness. None of us grow during our mountain top experiences with God, our growing happens while we are in the valley. We grow as we encounter difficulty, adversity, pain and disappointment. Those moments in life catapult us into the arms of our loving Savior, where we find understanding, refuge and rest. This all sound fantastic when talking about adults and their walk with God. As most of you know…children are precious to me. Not just my own, the 5 beautiful and incredible blessings God has entrusted to me but all children. I see innocence in them, I see vulnerability and I see JESUS. I see trust, hope and love in their eyes. The world so untainted, dreams so real, futures so bright…precious little lives in need of saving. So for me to learn the concept of teaching my children (predominantly franky since he is the oldest) to suffer well has been quite a journey.

Today my son came home upset that he had been called “gay” at school by another class mate. Franky had already asked me to change him from school because he did not want to be around kids that cursed all the time. Franky is a child…foolish like every other but he has been trained. Trained to love others, to respect them and to help them. He is untainted by the harsh world we live in. He is not bitter or angry like a lot of kids I know his age. He doesn’t carry a chip in his shoulder and honestly he is very naive. I love naive. As Dr.John MacArthur puts it.. children MUST be protected from all the inappropriate things in our culture. So YES, my son is being raised in a glass house! 🙂 Not the kind where you don’t know the outside world exists but the kind that protects him from what we can and explains th rest to him from a biblical standpoint so he can understand and learn to make wise choices. I am going to go to the school and deal with the situation but in the midst of it all God has taught me that I need to teach him how to suffer well. This walk is a lonely walk at times. It is a crawl at others. This is not the last time he will be made fun of for his integrity, or laughed at for his beliefs so teaching my son that this is very common and taking him to the Word was imperative. I sat down with him tonight and explained to him that Jesus was persecuted and laughed at, he was mocked and eventually crucified by the very people he came to save so we can’t expect any less. I explained to him that the only thing that matters is what God says in His word and WHO God says he is. A warrior, prince…son of the King, fearfully and wonderfully made. Encouraged him to draw near to God and lean on His strength but not to expect this to be the last time something like this happens. I quoted Jesus when He said that the world has hated Him so they will hate us also. I asked him to pray for the other kids and to be fearless in proclaiming Christ and his faith. Gave him some examples in the word of the apostles who endured much for the sake of Christ.

Franky is not the kind of kid to go with the flow. Saying that makes me smile because I am very much the same way. He will stand up for what’s right and is not afraid to do so. He was upset but it didn’t rock him. He has a strong foundation in Christ and a strong sense of who he is and how much he is loved. To be quite honest he wasn’t as upset as I was! And it was such a blessing to see that I have taught him well. I forget sometimes…Seeing him deal with adversity in such a gracious way reminded me that I have taught him since he was little that his value is not in what anyone says he is but WHO God says he is. See, I expected for franky to fall apart ( as many kids do today)when faced such cruelty but I underestimated both God and him. Franky is able to separate himself from others and even though he is still a child and things like that hurt, they have no effect deep inside, he knows he is a child of God and he understands how lost his class mates are and is genuinely concerned about their eternal destination. He weeps because his biological father is not saved and he doesn’t want him to go to hell. He is a child who truly understands the fear of the Lord. Parenting him has taught me so many things! From grace to fearing the Lord…how amazing it has been to see him grow and to be a part of what the Lord is doing in his life and the kind of young man He is turning him into. I am so thankful! Teaching to suffer well will enable them to stand when faced with adversity…wonder why today’s children fall apart at harsh words and they cave in to peer pressure? They are not being taught to suffer well. They expect candy canes and lollipops and don’t know what to do when someone rains on their parade! We are crippling our children instead of equipping them.

He is the kid that volunteers to the trash out in school, not worried about being/doing the great things but to simply help. He has a beautiful heart and thus why he gets picked on. He is different, this is evident and glorious! I love different. I love to see his love for Christ and his eagerness to do good and to help others. We must teach our kids that we wont be able to remove them from very situation that would hurt them (emotionally) but we can equip them to walk through it and come out closer to the Lord and wiser as a consequence. We must teach them to embrace pain as part of life…it is normal and instead of running from it or worse…not giving them tools at all to deal with pain they will end up self medicating with drugs, alcohol, food, porn etc. That is what our society doesn;t understand..christian parents don’t understand that  they do not equip their children to suffer well and how to work through pain they WILL learn to self medicate. Anything to make the uncomfortable pain go away. Why? Because no one taught them that it is ok to hurt. It happens. What you do with that pain is what will define how strong you will be.

We as parents are not equipping our children to embrace pain as a normal process of life and teaching our children how to deal with it so when they hurt they are baffled…they don’t understand why they should hurt to begin with and they run as fast as they can to whatever feels good.  We must not let our society dictate how out children handle disappointment, we must teach them to rise above it and hold on to Christ for dear life! He is the only answer, He is the only savior. Teach your children pain is normal and walk them through it…don’t teach them to run from pain/disappointment instead teach them to embrace it and to learn the lesson God is wanting to teach them through it. God may just have some character to develop in your young ones. Character is not developed when everything is peachy but is developed in the darkest hours…when our only friend and hope is Jesus. In order to develop integrity and character we must have walked through some valleys my sweet friends. Don’t rob your young ones from the awesome experience of seeing God at work. It’s their walk…yes they are to be discipled and protected but they are also to be taught how to live life and work through issues so later on they aren’t sitting in a counselors office trying to get their lives together. 🙂 Teach them how to live life…the good and the bad. Teach them that God turns mourning into dancing and sorrow into joy even when they can;t see it. Teach them they can trust God because He loves them more than you do.

Even when they can’t see His hand they can trust His heart. God is trustworthy! If we put these biblical principles to pratice we can change the next generation…by raising a holy people that will fear and love the Lord.

BUT….I’m not qualified to teach! – Education the Way God Intended it…

Article by guest writer Kirsty Ferguson.

NOTE : All quotes used in the writing of this article are from the book “When You Rise Up : A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling” by R.C. Sproul Jr.

“Listen, O my people, to my instruction;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

For He established a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,
And not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

~ Psalm 78:1-8

It is a beautiful day outside, the sky is clear with large white puffy clouds floating by. The air is warm and beckoning and beautiful rays of golden sun creep through the window and spill across the table, at a small diner where I am sitting with a precious sister in Christ. The problem is, this dear sister is far from cheery. She picks up her cup of coffee and takes a long drink, then lowers her cup and looks at me, with eyes full of fear and confusion. “This is what I don’t understand,” she begins, “How can God expect me to teach my children ? I have never been to school to be a teacher. I actually never even graduated from college, and I was going for buisness…not for teaching.” She frowns, and holds tightly onto her cup of coffee…worry creasing her brow. “I mean, I struggle with simple things, like math. How ever will I teach my children the things that they need to know ? I can see myself making it through Preschool, Kindergarten and possibly the first few grades of Elementary school with them. But once they hit about 4th grade, I would be totally lost. And then Middle School and High School ? It would be a disaster and my children would remain stupid for the rest of their lives because their mother was a failure at teaching them!” Tears begin to well up in this dear sister’s eyes, and my heart broke in two.

I know so many parents, mom’s and dad’s, who struggle with this. This is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) problem that parents have with homeschooling. They feel as though they are not qualified to teach their children. The fact is though, is that God’s word makes it clear that you are to teach, train and raise your children in the the Lord and educate them at home. So if God gave you those children and His word is clear about what He wants you to do with them, then why would you think that He would not equip you with everything that you need to teach and train them ? It is foolish of us to think that we are unable to do the job that God has commanded that we do. Has God ever given a command that was impossible to obey ? Of course NOT! So why in the world would we as parents, think that this is the one command we cannot obey ? That is absurd.

I have found that there are two sides of people on this “concern”. On one side of the concern, the parents just don’t know or realize that the Bible commands them to educate their own children. These parents have never been told by anyone that their children are NOT to be sent to “school” but rather “school” should be within their own home, with them as the primary teachers. These types of people, just need to be shown the truth of God’s word, and be told that what they are doing is wrong and unbiblical. Many times, these people will repent, turn away from what they are doing, and begin doing things the biblical way, the way that God meant things to be.

Then…well, there is the other side of this “concern. These are the people who have heard about the command from God to educate their children at home, who know what the Bible says, but choose to disobey it. These people will try everything in their power to justify their actions. They will claim that the BIble is not clear on this subject, or that this “command” is out of date and no longer applies to them. They may also claim that well, so and so sent their children to public school and they turned out to be good upstanding christians, right ? Or, (one of the biggest excuses I hear), well we just cannot AFFORD to homeschool our children, my wife would have to quite her job and stay home full time, and that is just impossible for us to do, so we are left with no other option besides sending our children to public school. These are all LIES straight from satan himself, and he wants you to believe them as truth. They are nothing more than excuses and really just boil down to people trying to make themselves feel better about the sin that they are living in and the fact that they are blatantly spitting in the face of God by disobeying what He commands.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

There is a very good excerp from R.C. Sproul Jr.’s book that I would like to share with you, and that fits perfectly in with the point that I am trying to make :

“I have a friend who illustrates the point in a powerful, surprising way. He might be speaking with a woman who is thinking of turning her back or who can’t quite get the courage to start homeschooling. In her humility she knows that she wasn’t the best student in the world when she was in school. Her own mother questions her qualifications, as does her neighbor. Maybe this mom went to college or maybe she didn’t. But she isn’t overfilled with intellectual confidence. My friend patiently listens while she highlights her mental weakness. Then he makes it worse. He asks, “What are the three main forms of rocks?”

Usually the woman is doubly puzzled. First, she has no idea where the question came from. She suspects that perhaps my friend hasn’t been paying attention to the conversation. And second, of course, she is puzzled because she can’t for the life of her remember the correct answer. My friend will wait patiently while she tries to construct the answer. “Um, is it sedimentary, Ignatius and moon rocks ?” My friend still won’t let her off the hook. “You’re considering homeschooling, and you don’t even know the threee main forms of rocks ?” As the woman becomes increasingly cresfallen, he smiles and says, “Yet you manage to be a godly woman.”

Do you understand the point ?

If your goal is to raise Children who know the different forms of rocks, you might be wise to put them in contact with someone who knows. But if your goal is to raise from godly children godly adults, then you are the one for the job.”

The problem is, that these worries and fears are not something new. They are something that almost every homeschooling parent has had cross their minds at least once. I know that I have. I remember when my husband and I first began talking about homeschooling our son, we laughed a bit at the idea. I mean, I was homeschooled growing up, but I wasn’t the smartest kid on the block either. And whatever my parents struggled in, so did I. Math was not the strong suit of my mom, so neither was it mine. My mom was great with English and grammar though, and therefore, I became excellent at it as well. So thinking back to that, my husband and I rejected the idea at first. After all, we wanted the best for our son, and we thought that it meant sending our son to a private school. You see, we were already dead set against a public school, we knew all of the bad things that went on there, the evils and corrupt people. My husband went to a public school all his life, and as a result, swore that his children would never go there. So we figured that our only option was a private Christian school, where our son would be getting a good education from people who were trained to teach him, but also where the things that we were teaching him at home would not be underminded by the eduational system.

It was not until about a year ago, that God finally opened up my heart and mind to the truth of His word, and revealed to me, that it was truly unbiblical for us to even consider sending this precious little boy of ours to someone else to be educated. It makes me sick thinking back to that time when my husband and I actually thought that it would be for our son’s benefit to be sent away 8-10 hours a day to be educated by a stranger. Let me share with you dear brethren, it is NOT God’s plan for your children to be educated by someone else. Do you think that God really intended for you to ship your children off to someone else ? No matter what your reason, it is wrong, plain and clear.

Another quote by R.C. Sproul Jr. emphasizes this very thing :

” There is a similar test that I would like to offer to determine whether or not you are competent to homeschool. You don’t have to go to college to get a degree in education. (In fact, that degree might prove to be counterproductive because education programs prepare you to teach how the state wants you to teach.) You don’t have to have teachers in your family background. Not is it necessary that you were once the teacher’s pet, or are an expert in clapping erasers. The test is rather simple to take. It should only take a few minutes, and then you will know. The first thing you do is wait until it is late at night. Then very quietly, go from room to room in your house. Peek in carefully, and see if you find any sleeping children. Then be sure that these are your own children. If there are wee ones in your home during the wee hours, and if they belong to you, you are competent to homeschool. The true Expert on education is the very One who gave you these children.”

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please hear me out on this. If you have children in your house, then it is YOUR responsibility to educate them, not the governments and not a private sector. It is up to you. You will be the one who has to answer to God for the way that your children are raised. Do you really want to stand before God and admit that you shurked your responsibilites as a parent because of money, time or fear ?

It is ok to be scared, it is ok to have doubts, what is NOT ok is to pass the buck and send your children away so that someone else can do the job that God has commanded that YOU do. It may be hard at times, I am not saying that it will be a cake walk, but what I am saying is that you are called and commanded to this. If you have children, then God intended you to educate and train them in EVERYTHING, not just in the things that you feel as though you should. Every area of education is your responsibility.

So dear friend, I will tell you what I told this precious sister who was sitting across from me with a heavy heart and tears in her eyes. ” You may not be able to do this sis. That is understandable, it really is. You have worries, fears, doubts and confusion on this, you feel as though you would never be a good enough teacher for your children. You are lost and scared.” I paused and looked into her eyes as she became increasing confused, “But, let me tell you. GOD CAN DO THIS through you! And He will! So whenever you think that you cannot do this or that it is impossible, you are right, you are right. But it is in those moments that you need to get on your knees before your creator, before your God who can do anything, and ask Him to do the work through you. Ask Him to take you out of this, and to take over. Because then, and only then will you be able to fulfill these commands that He has given you as a mom.”

So friend, please do not give up. Do not give in. That is exactly what Satan wants from you. Instead focus on Christ, and seek Him first. Seek to do the which will please and glorify God. I promise you, it will be the best decision that you will ever make.

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-17

 

 

 

Homesless BUT Evangelized!

Meet Jimmy and Lance. They live on exit 107, in the woods. No tent, no food and no hope for a job. I found him the other day when I was driving my daughter to the Dr. I gave him all the cash I had on me (around $16) and asked what his situation was, he told me he lived in the woods behind him. I drove away as I prayed for him, and asked God to allow me to come back and help him. I got the idea of getting a big rolling duffle bag and filling it with all the basic necessities and bringing it to him with a meal and of course priority number one…sharing the GOSPEL (Way of the Master style). 🙂

 

This morning Dave and I packed the duffle bag with shirts, pants, underwear, tooth paste, tooth brushes, shower gel, lotion, deodorant, sheets, towel, can opener and a few other things. We went to the christian book store and bought a NT (ESV) bible since we had run out (we give them away to people we meet) put some encouraging verses in it along with a track (we only give tracks for them to go back and read them, we share the gospel with them first! No sinners prayer needed!). We went to MacDonald’s and bought 6 cheeseburgers and 2 bottled waters and on we went to exit 107. Praying he would be there. Parked the van and went into the bushes and lo and behold there were 2 homeless guys, not just one! I am so glad we put extra clothing and necessities in the bag and bought enough lunch for them. They were stunned that we came into their turf rolling a big bag with us. We went on to chat with them, shared the gospel and gave them what we brought. They were so thankful! One of them gave us an outback steakhouse gift card someone gave them. We refused but after telling us they had no way of getting there we made a deal…we would go to outback and buy them each a steak and bring it back to them! They said ohhh man that would be awesome! So we kept the card and will be going later on to bring them some steaks back. 🙂 They shared with us that they got poured on yesterday and their clothes were still wet. So God provided clean, dry clothing for them today! ❤

Dave and I will be going back on thanksgiving day to bring them a meal and are going to buy them a tent and warm clothing as winter is coming around soon. Lance and Jimmy have been adopted by our family, we took all 4 kids ( my teaching moment was to Franky most of all), taught him that as believers we ought to be Jesus hands and feet. We need to not just pray for those in need but do something about it. We need to get out of our little bubbles we live in and purposefully be looking for opportunities to bless others. Franky was so happy we helped them. I told him Jesus was a philanthropist and so should we be. He healed and helped those who came in contact with Him. We should live mindful of those around us that are in need. To say you are a christian and that you tithe and are not actively looking for people to help/bless is to excuse yourself from the work it takes to actually get out there and DO IT!

Dear friend, if you are one of those people that have ignored a homeless person with the excuse of I don’t have anything or they will “drink” the money I give them you are without excuse! You can easily go to the store and buy them water and a meal…you can go to your local thrift store and purchase a jacket for a cold homeless person. It’s an inconvenience you say? How inconvenienced was Jesus when He was told He had to come die on a cross for YOU?! Talk about an inconvenience, He left His throne to come save the elect!  Can I encourage you to please put a bag together of anything that could be useful and a blessing to a homeless person and keep it in your car. When you see the next one, bless them with the basic needs. You don’t have to give them money….there are others things you can do to bless them. If you live in Naples would you please get off on exit 107 and look into the woods, you will see 2 homeless guys who need your help…would you help them? Maybe a blanket…or a clean shirt…anything will help them. We are called to help the homeless, the orphans and the widows…ARE YOU DOING YOUR PART?????

In our home, our motto is “You do what you can with what you have!”

These are the things we do as a family…we want to not only share the gospel with our precious children…we want to LIVE the gospel before them. That way they can see what TRUE Christinity looks like in a world of wishy washy “christian” people. They asknowledge God but live like like He doesn’t exist. We call them, the Christian ATHEIST. There is nothing more I long for than for my children to grow up and say, I saw Jesus in our home. My parents modeled for us how to live out the NT! ❤

A Stay at Home MOM’s Identity Crisis…

Have you ever had one of those days when you think “ohh Lord, what did I get myself into?” Well, if you are a wife and mom, it is more than likely you have had more than just one of those days. This post is for you! 🙂

I have come across countless young mama’s that struggle with the biblical concept of staying at home and living out Titus 2. Not because they don’t want to do it but because of the pressure they feel from our society to “have a life” and “have an income”. To stay off we need to address the fact that our society sees children as a “problem”, they are one more item on your check list of things to “accomplish” (not much of an accomplishment to birth them and send them off to some daycare or school, anyone can do that!). You know, it goes something like this…1st I am going to go to school and get a “good job” in order to have a wonderful lavish lifestyle, 2nd I am going to get married to a wonderful provider (maybe an attorney or Dr.), 3rd I will be married for a while of course, God forbid I start having children right away, I man I need to focus on my career and traveling with my new husband, 4th I guess it is time for kids, I will have 1 or 2 , send them off to daycare and provide a good “private” school so that I don’t feel guilty I am not with my child for 10+ hours a day, I mean “good mothers” give their children good educations right? What good mother doesn’t? So you see beloved, it is just another item to be checked off. A family becomes an “experience” that lasts a few months between conception and the 2 months you spend at home before going back to a “real life”. Biblically speaking this is as backwards as it gets! God has made it very clear all throughout His Word that the reason He gives people children is for them to train them in the ways of the Lord, for godly offspring. As a mom of 4 beautiful blessings, I can’t tell you, you will not encounter days when you feel like you are in way over your head, because I would be lying to you. That doesn’t mean we don’t love them, or that we are not thankful…that just means we are human and have emotions. The problem is not feeling this way, the problem becomes what you do with those feelings. There are days when I am worn out by 3 o’clock. There are days when for a slight second the enemy puts thoughts in my mind of my “old ways” and my “real life” before…out in the world “actually making a difference”. But I have learned that those are lies from the enemy. The enemy wants nothing more than for you to feel like you are not making a difference, like you are just wasting your life. Sweet friend, if this is the way you feel, take courage because you are not alone and that is not the truth. We must take those thoughts captive and bring them to the Lord…say “Lord I know this is not the truth will you please replace these lies with the truth of your word…” walk away from those thoughts, lay them at His feet and let them deal with them. Do not entertain them even if for a min. If you are married, have children and are a stay at home mom, you are right in the center of God’s will for your life. There is nothing more important than raising the next generation to love and fear the Lord. You may be training the next John MacArthur or Charles Spurgeon and don’t even know it! 🙂 The point is mama’s that you can’t see the big picture in the midst of poopy diapers and a million bottles but when you take a minute to step back and see the beauty you are creating it will overwhelm you. God sees beauty in what you do. He praises your obedience and love for your family and for Him. God is cheering you on as you pray for patience to deal with the tantrums. He is saying “Daughter I blessed you with these little ones, I equipped you to nurture and train them but that is not all…I will NEVER leave you alone…I am here for you…I am watching you change those diapers and seeing you clean those dishes even if in tears because you think you can’t do it….in the moments you doubt…in the moments you want to give up and say I made a mistake by choosing you to mother these babies…I am carrying you, I am giving you faith to fight the good fight, I am here…in your nursery, in your kitchen watching it all…ready to hold you, ready to encourage you…just run to me my daughter…run to me!!!”

THAT is the big picture! The day you stand before Him ready to account for the lives entrusted to your care. What would you have to say? If you have been obedient, no matter how imperfectly you will receive a “well done my good and faithful servant.”

In our culture the value of a person is in what they do. What you do becomes who you are, hence when you ask someone who are you the first inclination they have is to tell you what they do…exp “I am a nurse…” etc. For us stay at home moms we must come to the place where we understand WHO we are in Christ. Our identity as a daughter of the King is what we need to focus on. I am not first a wife and mom, I am first the daughter of the King, he maker of Heaven and Earth. I am a princess. Yes beloved, you are a PRINCESS…with a beautiful feminine heart. A heart that longs to be praised, loved and cherished…to know that you matter to someone. Our identity should solely be founded in the fact that Christ died to save us and now we have become co-heirs in Christ. I know you may not feel much of a princess when you have people asking you when you are getting a “real job”. I know the road is hard but the rewards outweigh it. When we focus on who we are and what our true identity is, it will be much easier for us to understand that our place is at home loving our husband and our children and taking care of our home. Diligently seeking to live out our faith for our children to see. You have been called to a ministry. ALL of us women have. We minister to our husbands in the way we serve and love them and we minister to our children as they grow and see mommy loving the Lord everyday. We will impact the next generation by not only our obedience to the word but living out the gospel for our precious blessings to see. The world can say what they want, we have a sure foundation that we are doing what is right because the one who created the family has laid out a plan on how that family is to function.

Understand that you are a daughter of the King, a princess. Think about it, allow that to become your identity, Christ ALONE. Love it and live it mama’s. You are loved and cherished by God. The one who called you had equipped you. You have EVERYTHING it takes to train your little ones up, it’s all in the Scriptures! ❤ What you are doing is virtuous in the sight of the Lord…he called Proverbs 31 “the virtuous woman”, not the normal woman, not the average woman…but virtuous. Some people may want to downplay what you do but what matters is what God thinks of what you do. 🙂 You have an audience of ONE.

I love you all! You are doing an extraordinary job…I am so proud of those Proverbs 31 mamas who read my blog! ❤


Apocalypse Unveiled.

The book of Revelation in my humble opinion is the most exciting book to read in the times we live in. Every time I open this prophetic book something new is unveiled and that is a testimony that the Word of almighty God is alive. This happens with every book in the Bible, because it is the word of God is it very much alive. In order to understand the book of Rev and what exactly the “tribulation” (also Great tribulation) is, we need to go back to the OT and some of the NT. I am going to get right into it, so brace yourself for the ride! There is a common view out there that the “great tribulation” is the second 3 1/2 years of the 70th week of daniel. And I am going to prove to you that it is incorrect. From Rev 4 on IS the great tribulation also called the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer 30:7, Dan 12:1 & Matt 24: 21,22). The word tribulation appears 22 times in the old and new testaments. In the OT the word used in hebrew is either 6862 or 6869. 6862 – Tsar = trouble, distress, affliction. 6869 – Tsarah = trouble, distress, affliction or adversity. Tribulation in the NT is the word thlipsis in Greek (Strong’s 2347) meaning pressure, affliction, trouble, anguish and persecution. Some scriptures in which the word tribulation appears in are Matt 24:21, John 16:33, Rom 5:3, Eph 3:13, Rev 7:9 & Rev 7:14. All are thlipsis. Rev 7:9 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;” The word “great” here is polus (Strong’s 4183) meaning much ( in any respect) or (plural)many, great. This word is an adjective. It is describing the multitude; a great multitude. Rev 7:14 “I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” The word great here is megales in greek (Strong’s 3137) meaning exceeding, large or great. This is where we get the word mega from. This is also an adjective which is used to describe something. Note: In Rev 1:9 John sates that he is a partner in tribulation, the word is thlipsis (again). Mark 13:5-23 and Luke 21:5-24 describe the tribulation for us. Note: In Mark 13:19 the word for trib is thlipsis again. The book of Revelation (chapters 4 -19) was written with a heptadic structure to the way the seals, trumpets ad bowls are introduced. Seals ~~~ First 6 – pause – 7th Trumpets ~~~ First 6 – pause – 7th Bowls ~~~ First 6 – pause – 7th Chapters 10-14 are parenthetical But before we move on through the rest of the book of Rev, let’s go back to the beginning of Rev. Rev 1 ~ is an intro to Rev where John describes his vision of Christ. Rev 2 ~ The letter to the seven churches in Asia minor which is a type for the 7 spiritual states & dispensations. Rev 3 ~ Th letters continue. One of the key verses (for born again believers) in chpt 3 is Rev 3:10 “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Many people read this verse ad interpret it only translating the word “keep” and fail to look at the word “from” which is ek in greek (Strong’ s 1537) meaning “from out of” where we get the word exit from. This also confirms scripture that supports the rapture of the church in 1 Thess 4: 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord” along with Jesus’ exhortation in Luke 21:36 “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” In this passage Christ was speaking about the sings of the ed of time. Rev 3, 4 & 5. It is my belief that the rapture of the church will happen sometime between Rev 3 & 5. In Rev 4 Christ tells John that He will show him what must take place after these things. Revelation is written in chronological order and “after these things” refers to what will take place AFTER the church age. Rev 6 ~ The great tribulation starts. Christ takes the scroll and opens the seals; He opens the first 6 seals only. Rev 7~ (Pause between the 6th & 7th seal) John sees a great multitude from the great tribulation. This is the beginning of the tribulation so why would there be saints from the great tribulation if the second half has not started yet? Yeah, makes one think. This great multitude came from the first 6 seals which is the beginning of the trib. Therefore one can only conclude that the “great tribulation” is the entire 7 year period. “Great tribulation” is not an event but a specific period of time in the book of Rev. Rev 8 ~ The 7th seal: prelude o th seven trumpets. Rev 9 ~ 5th & 6th trumpet. Rev 10 ~ Pause between 6th & 7th trumpets. John eats the little book. Rev 11 ~ The two witnesses & 7th trumpet. I am going to camp for a bit on the two witnesses. These two (highly probable to be Elijah & Moses) come at the very beginning of the tribulation an are seen in Rev 11 killed, laying dead for 3 days, resurrected and ascended to heaven. This is the end of the ministry of the 2 witnesses who die at the hands of the Antichrist. This marks the beginning of the second half of the tribulation. The witnesses were given power to for 1,260 days (3 1/2 years), they die in Rev 11 before the Antichrist is given power for the last 42 months of the trib. That leaves them ministering for the first 42 months. This is an article from Dr. John Whitcomb, it details everything about the 2 witnesses. The Two Witnesses: First or Second Half of the Tribulation? Dr. John WhitcombScripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. THE TIME OF THEIR MINISTRY Most dispensational commentators agree that the holy city, Jerusalem, will be”trodden down” by the Gentiles for 42 months during the last half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Rev.11:2; cf. Luke 21:24)). This time period is identical to the 42 months of Rev.13:5, which is the time God assigns to the Beast, the Antichrist, to blaspheme His name and to persecute His people. This will be the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy in Dan. 7:21, that “the little horn” will make war against the saints and will prevail against them until “the Ancient of Days” finally comes. Daniel is also told that “the saints will be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (7:25), and that after these three-and-one-half years, “when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (12:7). What,then, are the “one thousand two hundred and sixty days” during which”My two witnesses” will receive authority to “prophesy…clothed in sackcloth” (Rev. 11:3)? Time indicators, such as “1,260 days” are to be understood literally. John F. Walvoord explains: “Very prominent in the book of Revelation is the use of numbers, namely, 2, 3, 3 1/2,4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 24, 42, 144, 666, 1,000, 1,260, 1,600, 7,000, 12,000,144,000, 100,000,000, 200,000,000 . . .The general rule should be followed to interpret numbers literally unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.”[1]For several reasons, I suggest that this is the first half of the Seventieth Week. First, there seems to be an intentional distinction between the time of the Gentile occupation of the Temple’s outer court and the city, and the time of the two witnesses, by means of the different time-units used: 42 months for the Gentile domination and 1,260 days for the two witnesses. If the same time period is intended for both groups, why is not the 42-month time-block sufficient to cover both? Second, and more important, in the very next verse (Rev.11:4), the ministry of the two witnesses is compared to the ministry of the two olive trees of Zech. 4:3, namely, Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor of the Jewish remnant, who returned from Babylon to re-establish legitimate worship in Jerusalem (Zech. 3:1 and 4:6). These leaders did not have to wait for the Temple to be rebuilt to begin sacrificingon the altar which they erected on the ruins of Solomon’s Temple (cf. Ezra 3:2-3). By the same token, the two witnesses will not have to wait for the third temple to be built in order to begin sacrificing on a divinely legitimate altar on the present ruins of the second temple. What they will need is supernatural protection to re-institute the sacrifices (cf. Dan. 9:27) in the presence of enormous, even global, opposition (cf. Rev. 11:10). The reason why this will happen during the first half of the seventieth week is that”in the middle of the week He [the Antichrist] shall bring an end to sacrifice [zevach = bloodysacrifices] and offering [minchah= non-bloody sacrifices]” (Dan. 9:27). As J. Dwight Pentecost explains,”This expression refers to the entire Levitical system, which suggests that Israel will have restored that system in the first half of the 70th’seven.’”[2] Antichrist will replace the legitimate, God-honoring Jewish worship system, which only the two witnesses can inaugurate, with his own system, namely, the abomination of desolation (cf. Dan. 9:27b,12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:14-15). But the Antichrist cannot do this until the 1,260 days of ministry allotted by God to the two witnesses has been completed (cf. Rev.11:7). Third, the Lord Jesus issued this command to Jews of the tribulation period: “when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place . . . then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains . . . For then there will be great tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:15-21). Here an obvious question arises: Would the two Jewish witnesses remain in Jerusalem during the 42 months of Antichrist’s dominion if the Lord Jesus, their Messiah, told them to flee to the mountains? Fourth, if the 1,260 days occur during the last half of the Week, then the entire world would be celebrating the death of the two witnesses for three-and-a-half days after the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of the Antichrist! This is very difficult to imagine. As Gary G. Cohen explains, “at the end of the second three-and-a-half year period, the Beast followers are lamenting over Babylon and the vials, [are] gathered for the great battle of Armageddon, and [are] finally slain by Christ, whose coming is surrounded with the powers of the heavens being shaken (Rev. 16-18; 19:11-21; Matt. 24:29-30).This picture does not harmonize well with the three-and-a-half days of rejoicing and gift-giving in which the earth-dwellers participate following the murder of the witnesses. This discordance between the end of the second three-and-a-half year period and the three-and-a-half days following the end of the three-and-a-half year ministry of the witnesses makes it most unlikely that the prophesying of God’s two servants takes place during the latter half of the week.”[3] Fifth, putting the two witnesses into the last half of the Week compromises the totality of Antichrist’s dominion during that same period. How can he bring fire from heaven upon his enemies (through the False Prophet, Rev. 13:13)if the two witnesses are simultaneously bringing fire from heaven upon their enemies (Rev. 11:5)? We are clearly dealing with two different time periods: the first half of the Week with the over whelming power of the two witnesses, and the last half of the Week with the over whelming power of the Beast and the False Prophet.When the world asks the rhetorical question, “Who is able to make war with [the Beast]?” (Rev. 13:4), it seems obvious that no one can answer, “The two witnesses are able to make war with him,” for their 1,260 days of ministry will have ended, and they will be gone. Sixth, our Lord stated that “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things (italicsadded)” (Matt. 17:11). Whoever “Elijah” turns out to be (see below, The Identity of the Two Witnesses), his spectacular success (under God)in bringing Israel back to her Messiah must be during the first half of the seventieth week, for Isaiah prophesied that Israel will have given birth “to her children” as soon as her time of tribulation begins (Isa. 66:8). Furthermore,the basically regenerated nation, called “the woman” in Rev. 12, will flee into the wilderness and be nourished by God for 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6, 14;cf. Isaiah 26:20-21), namely, the last half of the week. “The dragon,”Satan, will then “make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (12:17),presumably the 144,000 witnesses from the 12 tribes of Israel and multitudes of their Gentile converts. The crucial question, then, is this: by whose testimony is the nation of Israel brought into the blessings of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf. Jer.32:37-41; Ezek. 36:25-28)? And by whose witness are 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes led to the Lord, in order that, as our Savior promised,”this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world [during the last half of the Week] as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14)? The prophet Malachi provides the answer: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before (italicsadded) the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD [i.e., the final 42 months of the 70th week], and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Mal.4:5-6). Our Lord, of course, was referring to this final statement of the Old Testament when He assured Peter, James and John that, “indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things” (Matt. 17:11). Some have mistakenly assumed that Israel as a nation cannot be converted until “they will look on Me whom they pierced” (Zech. 12:10), namely, at Christ’s second coming in glory. But our Lord insisted: “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). These words were spoken to Thomas who refused to believe until he could “see in His hands the print of the nails” (vs. 25). Was Thomas converted when he did see the marks of his Lord’s crucifixion? No, for he, like the other ten apostles, was already a born-again believer (cf. John 13:10-11). Likewise, Israel will be filled with contrition when they finally see the Savior whom they had crucified, and “will mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son,” with “all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zech. 12:14). Doubtless, this will also be the occasion when they will cry out, “Surely He has borne our griefs yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted” (Isa.53:4-5). Thus, there will be at least a 42-month gap between Israel’s conversion and the overwhelming sight of their pierced Savior. Immediately following the rapture of the church, there will be no believers left on this planet. Assuming that God never leaves Himself without a witness in the world,the two witnesses will suddenly appear in Jerusalem to begin their powerful work. In the words of Alva J.McClain, founder and president of Grace Theological Seminary, “The effect of their testimony is very impressive, appearing very early in the book of Revelation and probably accounting for the martyrs seen under the fifth seal (6:9). In chapter 7 the effect greatly expands, including 144,000 Israelites (vss.3-8), and also a great multitude, which no man can number, of all nations” (vss. 9-14).[4]His colleague and successor, Herman A. Hoyt, agreed that “The importance of their testimony cannot be overestimated (Rev. 11:4)By their testimony, it is my opinion, they bring about the conversion of the 144,000 who will become the witnesses during the final half of the tribulation period.”[5]In addition to my personal mentors, Alva J. McClain and Herman A. Hoyt, several others have concluded that the two witnesses will proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom (i.e., the true Gospel of the saving work of Christ as a pre requisite for entering the Kingdom)during the first half of the 70th week.[6] An interesting parallel to the amazing effects of the preaching of the two witnesses may be found in the ministry of the Apostle Paul at the school of Tyrannus in Ephesus: “And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10). THE IDENTITY OF THE TWO WITNESSES[7] For 2,400 years Jews have anticipated the literal return of Elijah as the forerunner of Messiah. At the Passover meal (the Seder), “there is an extra place setting and a special cup on the Seder table designated just for Elijah The meal is followed by a prayer, and a member of the family is then asked to go to the door, open it,and see if Elijah the prophet is coming.”[8]This expectation, of course, is based on the final words of the prophet Malachi at the very end of our Old Testament:”Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Mal.4:5-6). When Peter, James and John beheld Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, they were astounded. Could it really be true that Elijah would personally, physically, and visibly appear as the forerunner of Christ at the inauguration of His Kingdom? A week before they climbed this mountain, the Lord Jesus had told them: “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). So this was a foretaste, a powerful visual aid, of the manner in which the Son of Man would return to the earth: personally,physically and visibly, in glory (cf. Acts 1:11). But why did this foreview also include the visible presence of Elijah? Peter, James and John were very concerned about this. Coming down from the mountain, they asked the Lord: “‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ And He answered and said, ‘Indeed Elijah is coming first and will restore all things’” (Matt. 17:10-11). Thus, the Lord Jesus was agreeing with the scribes that the prophecy of Malachi should be interpreted literally, just as the chief priests and scribes had interpreted Micah 5:2 literally when they were asked concerning the birthplace of the Messiah (Matt. 2:3-6).[9] The Greatness of John the Baptist Now this created a great dilemma for the disciples. If Elijah was to prepare Israel for the Kingdom (which they expected to happen at any moment), when and how would he appear, and how did John the Baptist, their former (and now dead) mentor(John 1:35-40) fit into this scenario? Was not the Baptizer “the burning and shining lamp,” in whose “light” the disciples “were willing to rejoice” because”he has borne witness to the truth” (John 5:33-35)? Was he not “more than a prophet” (Matt. 11:9)? Was he not the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 (“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:’Prepare the way of the LORD’” cf. Matt. 3:3)? Was he not “My messenger” whom God would send “to prepare the way before Me” (Mal. 3:1; cf. Matt. 11:10)? In fact the Lord Jesus asserted that “among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11). Thus, in the mind of our Lord, John was personally and prophetically at least as great as Enoch,Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, Isaiah,Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, — and even Elijah! Israel’s Responsibility It is perfectly clear, then, that it was not because of some lack of dedication or wisdom that John the Baptizer failed to bring Israel to the place of spiritual readiness to acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Messiah. The national rejection of Jesus was entirely the fault of the people and their leaders! With respect to John, therefore, our Lord explained: “If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah, who is to come” (Matt. 11:14). Then,amazingly, He added: “‘Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished ‘Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist” (Matt. 17:12-13). Thus,John could have been Elijah if Israel had accepted his message. This is a theme that dominates the entire Bible – men are responsible moral agents before God, and can never reject this accountability by arguing that since God is the sovereign LORD of history they cannot make genuine choices (cf. Rom. 9:18-24). Judas Iscariot could have reasoned: “Since my betrayal of the Messiah has been predestined [e.g., Luke 22:22a – “truly,the Son of Man goes as it has been determined”], I have been deprived of my freedom of choice, and am therefore innocent!” But our Lord, anticipating such depraved thinking, added: “but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” (Luke22:22b; cf. Acts 2:23 concerning the entire nation). Thus, Joseph could say to his murderous brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, in order to save many people alive” (Gen. 50:20). There are at least three reasons for concluding that John was not Elijah. First, the angel Gabriel announced to Zacharias the priest concerning his son John: “He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah”(Luke 1:17). Therefore, he was not literally Elijah. Second, our Lord stated,soon after the death of John, “Elijah is coming first and will restore all things”(Matt. 17:11). Thus, the Lord Jesus interpreted Malachi’s prophecy literally:”Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet” (Mal. 4:5). Third, the leaders of Israel confronted John with a direct question: “Are you Elijah?” His answer was unequivocal:”I am not” (John 1:21). However,in spite of the fact that John was not Elijah, his offer of the Kingdom to Israel was absolutely genuine:”Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). This identical appeal was made by our Lord, and by the Twelve and the Seventy. Therefore, no Jew could say, “We never heard a clear and genuine offer of the Kingdom!” The Theological Antinomy But here we must face a great theological antinomy, namely, an apparent contradiction of logic that mere human intelligence cannot resolve: first, the offer of the Kingdom was absolutely genuine. The contingency was this: the coming of the Kingdom was dependent upon the believing response of the nation of Israel. Without national repentance on the part of God’s chosen people,there can be no Messianic kingdom on this earth (see Romans 11:12, 15, 25-29,and many Old Testament prophecies). Also for individuals, whether Jew or Gentile, there can be no salvation without genuine faith in God and His Word.This is a fundamental reality in all human history under God. Second,at the same time, God had planned from all eternity that the Kingdom offer would be rejected at Christ’s first coming, and would be accepted at His second coming. [10] Yes, we always need to be reminded of Deut. 29:29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever,” and Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts,nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” No Jew could escape the ultimate urgency of the Baptizer’s message by reasoning:”John himself admits that he is not Elijah. Therefore, since the Kingdom cannot come until Elijah appears, we have no need to humble ourselves before this non-Elijah!” To excuse themselves, the Jewish leaders finally concluded that John had a demon! (cf. Matt. 11:18). A similar urgent responsibility rests upon people today. No one, however exalted(in political, social, economic, educational, or scientific realms), may dismiss the urgency of the Gospel message because of the personality traits of the messenger. Like the Corinthians long ago, people in our day sometimes make a great issue of who won them to the Lord and/or baptized them. Paul’s response to the Corinthians was pointed: “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one” (1 Cor. 3:5;cf. 1:12-17; 3:21-23; 4:6). John’s appearance and life-style (like Elijah’s – 2 Kings 1:8; cf. Zech. 13:4) were not impressive to sophisticated Jews: a garment of camel’s hair and a diet of locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:4). Who among the leaders would want to be identified with such a strange-looking character? But God intended for his appearance to be a rebuke to the luxurious materialism of the royal family and the Pharisees and the priests (Matt. 11:8). Many of the common people, however, did respond to his powerful preaching (Matt. 3:5-6; 11:12; 21:26). Thus,to summarize the antinomy: God assures us, on the basis of His unchangeable foreknowledge, that Elijah – not John – will bring the nation to repentance.But human responsibility required that John’s message be received with genuine repentance and faith, just as fervently as if Elijah himself had been God’s messenger. Has Elijah Been Glorified? Elijah is coming back as a messenger to Israel. But how can he come back to the earth in a physical, mortal body? Was he not last seen being swept “to heaven” by a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11)? This is a major reason why many evangelical theologians deny that Elijah can literally return to the earth and be killed(Rev. 11:7). If Elijah was glorified without dying, how can he return to the earth and die? Avery important factor in solving this problem may be found in our Lord’s statement: “No one has ascended to heaven, but the Son of Man” (John 3:13). In the immediate context, our Lord was explaining to Nicodemus that He alone could testify concerning things in heaven, because He alone had been there. While this statement sheds significant light on our Lord’s unique authority to speak of “heavenly things,” His statement also seems to exclude the possibility that anyone, including Enoch and Elijah, could ever have ascended to the third heaven. Furthermore,the Lord Jesus was “the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep,” in the sense of receiving a glorified body; and no one else will receive such a body until ”those who are Christ’s” have that inconceivably marvelous experience “at His coming” (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Technically, of course, it could be argued that our Lord was referring only to a resurrection from the dead, and that neither Enoch nor Elijah had died. But, in the light of the “first fruits” statement of1 Corinthians 15:20, 23, it is very difficult to believe that two men could have been physically glorified before the Savior was glorified. Renald E. Showers agrees that “Enoch and Elijah did not receive glorified bodies when God took them from the earth.” But he also finds strong evidence in Hebrews11:5 that Enoch did not “see”(=experience; cf. Luke 2:26) death. The text states that the very purpose for God’s taking Enoch was so that he should not experience death.[11]So we are left with the question of Enoch’s condition after he was “taken up.”A similar question may be asked concerning Korah, Dathan and Abiram who “went down alive into the pit [Sheol]” (Num. 16:33). My understanding would be that they did die afterdisappearing from the sight of men. After the glorification of Christ, the apostle Paul “was caught up to the third heaven into Paradise” (2 Cor. 12:2, 4).But he was not glorified, for the experience was temporary, and he returned to the earth with a mortal body(complete with a sin nature) and finally died. The truly amazing statement,however, is that he didn’t know whether his brief visit in heaven was “in the body or apart from the body” (12:2-3). Renald Showers sees 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, therefore, as indicating that Paul “believed in the possibility of a human being in a mortal body being caught up to and existing in God’s heaven for some period of time.”[12] This brings us again to the fascinating statement of Hebrews 11:5 – “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death.” The termination of his life on earth was totally different from that of any before him – he simply disappeared! Now it should be noted that two other God-honored men in the Old Testament shared the distinction of leaving this world with no one seeing them dying or dead – Moses (Deut. 32:48-52; 34:1-6) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11-14). The author of Hebrews stated:”it is appointed for men to die once” (9:27). However, the “mystery” (divine truth once hidden but now revealed) of the rapture of the Body and Bride of Christ without dying (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:15-17) is the glorious exception to this “die-once” rule. But is it really legitimate to stretch this exception to include Enoch or Elijah? Old Testament saints were not members of the Body and Bride of Christ to whom this “blessed hope” was exclusively given(cf. Eph. 3:4-10). That Enoch entered the realm of the righteous dead[13]without dying seems to be the teaching of Hebrews 11:5. That he was physically glorified is highly unlikely. Enoch did not “see death.” But the Scriptures do not say this of Elijah. In fact, there seems to become support for the concept that Elijah finally did die after he was caught up by a whirlwind. Nearly 900 years after that event, three of our Lord’s disciples saw Moses (who had died 1,400 years earlier) and Elijah together (Matt. 17:1-8). Since Moses could not have had a glorified body (cf. 1 Cor. 15:20, 23), the implication is quite strong that Elijah did not either.Like Samuel 1,000 years earlier (1 Sam. 28:15), they were temporarily “brought up” from their place of rest in the “Paradise” of pre-resurrection-of-Christ history (cf. Luke 23:43 with 2 Cor. 12:2-4 and Eph.4:8-10), which our Lord also described as “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22), and which was located at that time in “the heart of the earth”(Matt. 12:40 cf. 1Pet. 3:19). Moses and Elijah appeared briefly to Peter, James and John, but had nothing to say to them. Instead, they were conversing with their Lord. As they “talked with Him”(Luke 9:30), they “spoke of His decease [Gk. exodus = a euphemism for His death] which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). They were presumably concerned about the fact that not until their great King/Priest/Messiah shed His blood upon the Cross could they be fully redeemed. However, in the meantime, they had been redeemed, like Abraham (Gen. 15:6), as it were “on credit,” because the blood payment of the Lamb of God for pre-Calvary believers was already accomplished in the mind of God (cf. Rom. 3:25-26; Eph. 1:3-11). If Elijah was concerned about the ”decease” which his Lord was soon to accomplish in Jerusalem, the implication is that he (like Moses) had not yet been physically glorified.Thus, the fact that they appeared “in glory” on the mount was merely a temporary fore taste of their ultimate glorification at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. A significant analogy to this experience may be seen in the face of Moses which glowed brightly after he communed with God on Mount Sinai(Exodus 34:29-35). On the basis of these theological inferences, then, we understand that Elijah will be brought back from the dead (like Lazarus and several others) to mortal life,and to die again three-and-one-half years later (Rev. 11:3-13). In Bible times God raised some people from the dead after only a few hours, and Lazarus after four days (when it was evident to everyone that his body was decomposing [John 11:39]). The main point at issue here, however, is that God is not limited by time or by the availability of any part of a person’s physical body in order to perform the miracle of glorious resurrection, or even the miracle of resuscitation/restoration to mortal life. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:38 that God gives “to each seed its own body,” and”that which you sow [in death and burial], you do not sow that body that shall be.” This is the basic reality of all resurrections. On the human level, we might describe it this way:God knows the unique “blueprint” or “DNA information code” of every human being, and is perfectly capable of giving a person a glorified body, and even another mortal body (complete with the original sin nature) after thousands of years. Elijah and Moses Yes,Elijah is coming back to this earth again, and he will not come alone as he did at the beginning of his first ministry. Rarely does God send a servant into a significant ministry without a coworker. Robert L. Thomas has observed: “The OT required two witnesses as competent legal testimony to secure a conviction(Deut. 17:6; 19:15; Num. 35:30; cf. Heb. 10:28). Jesus also made the number two a minimum to confirm a point of discipline (Matt. 18:16) or verify truth (John8:17). Paul too alluded to the need of a plurality of witnesses to validate a judgment (2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19).”[14] But who will be Elijah’s companion witness? Many have suggested Enoch; but this great antediluvian saint and prophet would not be an appropriate fellow-witness with Elijah in a prophetic ministry directed exclusively to Israel.Far more appropriate for such a unique function would be Moses. For future apostate Israel, after the rapture of the Church, no man in her entire history would have greater respect and appreciation than Moses. In fact, Moses is named 80 times in the New Testament (compared to Abraham,73 times, David 59 times and Elijah 29 times)! God raised up these men to confront Israel in times of deep apostasy. Moses was God’s great deliverer and lawgiver for Israel, of whom He said: “There has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel” (Deut. 34:10-12). By the time our Lord appeared in Israel, the Jews actually thought that Moses had given them the bread in the wilderness (John 6:32). As for Elijah, surely one of the greatest of the prophets,God answered his humble prayer (cf. 1 Kings 18:36-37)by sending fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice on Mount Carmel and thus to defeat the 450 prophets of Baal; and finally to vindicate him by means of “a chariot of fire and horses of fire” to escort him out of Satan’s world (2 Kings 2:11).[15]When he was almost overwhelmed by the spiritual darkness of Israel under the demonic Jezebel, Elijah identified himself with Moses by fleeing to “the cave” (Heb: ha-m e ‘ ār) where Moses 600 years earlier was hidden by God as His glory passed by (1 Kings 19:9; Exod. 33:21-23). So highly did the Jews of Jesus’ day think of Elijah, that when they saw His miracles, some concluded that Elijah had returned (Matt. 16:14). Also when our Savior cried out from the cross, “Eli, Eli,” they believed He was “calling for Elijah” to save Him!(Matt. 27:47-49; Mark 15:35-36).[16] When the two witnesses appear in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Seventieth Week,”they immediately begin their prophetic ministry. Just prior to this (hours,days, weeks?) the rapture will have removed all believers from the earth.Therefore, there will be no one to train these two witnesses, and no time to train them. They must be men already possessing full knowledge of the Scriptures and well seasoned for such a demanding ministry. Moses was the lawgiver; Elijah was the law-enforcer. Both will be men of experience. They will be perfectly equipped for a ministry to Israel before a world-wide audience.”[17] Neither Moses nor Elijah ever entered Jerusalem, though Moses might have seen it from a distance (Deut. 34:2), and Elijah wrote a letter of judgment to one of the worst kings Jerusalem ever knew (2 Chron. 21:12-15). And, as we have seen, both Moses and Elijah, emerging temporarily from “Paradise” to appear on the Mount of Transfiguration, were very concerned about something soon to happen in Jerusalem. (cf. Luke 9:31) The Lord Jesus said that “it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:33)! In the light of this statement, it is note worthy that these two great Israelite prophets will not only enter Jerusalem, but will experience their second and final physical death in its streets at the hands of “the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit” at the mid-point of the Seventieth Week (Rev. 11:7-10; cf. Dan. 9:27). One of the most convincing evidences that Elijah and Moses will be the two witnesses in Revelation 11 is the nature of the judgment-miracles these men will perform. “If anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies These have power to shut heaven,so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire” (Rev. 11:5-6). The first two types of judgments listed were those which Elijah inflicted upon Israel (three-and-one-half years of drought – 1 Kings 17:1; cf.Luke 4:25; James 5:17; and fire from heaven upon two military detachments sent by King Ahaziah to capture Elijah – 2 Kings 1:10, 12); and the second two types of judgments (blood from water and a variety of plagues) were those which Moses inflicted upon Egypt (Ex. 7-12). Why are Elijah and Moses not named as the two witnesses in Revelation 11? Perhaps the Old Testament and the Gospels are so clear on this point that the Holy Spirit deemed it unnecessary to identify them by name. Would not the final words God addressed to Israel in the Old Testament have been sufficient?[18]“Remember the Law of Moses,My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel with the statutes and judgments [cf. Matt. 24:20]. Behold, I will send you Elijah (italics added) the prophet” (Mal. 4:4-5).[19] Conclusion The true Church is not destined to see the Antichrist or the two witnesses in Jerusalem. Our “blessed hope” is to see Christ our Bridegroom and our Head(Titus 2:13; 2 Cor. 11:2). Nevertheless, our covenant-keeping God also has a special appointment for His Chosen People Israel (Rom. 11:25-32); and that appointment includes national repentance through the prophetic ministry of Elijah (and Moses). Even before “the great and terrible day of the LORD” (the second half of the Seventieth Week) begins, Zion will “give birth to her children” (Isa. 66:8), and through them (presumably disciples of the two witnesses), “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations” (Matt. 24:14). When contemplating the destiny of ethnic Israel in the light of the unconditional and thus unbreakable Abrahamic Covenant promises[20],we can only say with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Rom. 11:33).[21] Rev 12 ~ The woman & her children persecuted by the Antichrist (explained in detail above). Rev 13 ~ 4″They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. ” The antichrist is given 42 months (3 1/2 years) to reign and set himself to be worshipped. This is the beginning of the second half of the tribulation. Rev 14 ~ The lamb & the 144 thousand. Rev 15 ~ Prelude to the bowl judgments. Rev 16 ~ The bowl judgments. Rev 17 ~ The Scarlet woman and the Scarlet Beast. Rev 18 ~ The Fall of Babylon the Great. Rev 19 ~ Heaven Exults over Babylon. Rev 20 ~ Satan bound for 1000 years, the Saints reign with Christ 1000 years after the 1000 years is completed Satan is released again to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog & Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. Rev 20:8. I along with John MacArthur believe this is the war of GOG & MAGOG described in Ezekiel 38 &39. Fire comes down from heaven and devours them. The devil is thrown into the lak of fire & brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are also; forever. The great white throne of judgment takes place. Rev 21 ~ A new heaven and a new earth. The new Jerusalem called the “bride, the wife of the Lamb” which in the Bible it is only used to describe the church or bride of Christ. Rev 22 ~ The river of life and ending exhortations. For further reading you can read Joel… Joel 1 = The beginning of the Trib Joel 2 = The middle of the Trib Joel 3 = The end (Armageddon). Revelation will soon come to pass while the Bride of Christ is in heaven for those 7 years having our marriage feast just like in the Jewish tradition.

What the Bible says about training a child… the Case AgAiNsT public school!

When I talk with Christian parents about providing their children with a thoroughly Christ-centered education, one of their main objections is that they believe they should send their children to public school to be “salt and light” in the darkness. In other words, one of the most frequently heard arguments for sending Christian children into the darkness of government schools is that we should try to save the lost in those schools by sending our precious young children there as little evangelists. Does this argument sound familiar?

Here is my reply after an in-depth study of the issue using the Biblical, theological, historical, and educational evidence that is available to anyone who has ears to hear.

The “salt & light” command (and the “Great Commission”) were given by Jesus to His trained and adult disciples, not to young children. This is a common misunderstanding in the church today. As an example of the fallacy of this kind of thinking, you’ll never find a Christian family sending their 8-year-old son off to Africa to be a missionary to evangelize the lost. Missionaries who are sent to foreign lands are mature disciples and adults, who have been trained theologically in ministering the Gospel and fighting spiritual warfare, who have been trained in the foundations of the faith and in apologetics, etc.

Another problem is that when Christian parents send their young children into the humanist religion government schools, what actually happens is that most of them (85%) have their salt removed by the world (via teachers & peers & curriculum indoctrination) and most of them have their light extinguished. This has been documented by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on Family Life, by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, by George Barna’s Research Group, and by many others. When the church tries to apply the “salt and light” argument to putting their children in government schools, the world ends up converting the Christian children and conforming them to the world, not the other way around. And yet God’s Word says, “Do not be conformed to this world…” It simply does not work and is not only counter-productive but actually destructive to Christian children and their families. Sure, there’s the admirable exception here and there, but the vast majority of these kids actually lose their faith because they are not adequately trained and grounded in their faith before being sent out into the darkness to be light.

Even though we are truly called to be a city set on a hill and a light in the darkness, the city is not a small untrained and unprepared child – it is the “called out ones” of the church who are gathered together as mature disciples of Jesus and who know how to give an answer for the hope that is within them. It is the collection of Christian families that make up the local church.

As parents, our primary purpose is to train up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, to teach them the commandments of God (see Deut 6), to teach them our spiritual history and the great wonders of God, to disciple them and educate them for God, AND to protect them from the wiles of the enemy and the world that would seek to destroy them and turn them away from God. We protect them while we disciple them and while they mature in their faith and in holy character. Eventually, we they are grown up and mature, we release them as arrows that shoot into the future and God goes with them and makes them His salt and light. However, it is unwise and unBiblical and contrary to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles to send these precious little ones out into the hostile world prematurely, untrained, immature, and not prepared to overcome it by the blood of Jesus and the word of their testimony and by laying their lives down for their King.

As we raise our kids “in the Lord,” we can model this to our children in the safety of our family and home and church as we reach out to the lost. However, this does not mean we are to send them out into the enemy’s camp as young children by putting them in government schools where their faith will be assaulted for 13 years and where they will be indoctrinated by and into a new religion – the religion of secular humanism. No, that is not God’s purpose or plan for our children.

Nowhere in Scripture does he command parents to do anything so unwise. Instead, everywhere in Scripture He commands parents to teach their own children and train and raise them in the fear of the Lord, at home in the safety of their own families, with assistance from the church. Institutionalizing our children in state education is the most dangerous, unwise, and destructive thing any Christian parent can do, and it plays right into the hands of the humanists and their goal of destroying our children’s faith and their parent’s authority in their lives and replacing it with the new religion of secular humanism, post-modernism, moral relativism, and evolutionary Darwinism, so that they will become good submissive “dumbed down” socialized citizens who will worship the State as their “god” and look to the State to parent them and to provide them with everything they need. This leads to idolatry, Statism, and socialism, and the complete loss of freedom, independence, and educational freedom.

I pray that you would consider the points I have raised as you think through your philosophy on these things. I am sharing what I have learned over the past few years of research into what God calls biblical education and the history of modern education in America. There are many other Christians, including some well-known Christian pastors and leaders, who have done their own research and have come to the same convictions and conclusions. These include: Samuel Blumenfeld, Voddie Baucham, Erwin Lutzer, E. Ray Moore, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Doug Phillips, Herb Titus, Geoff Botkin, Gary North, Kevin Swanson, Stephen McDowell, Bruce Shortt, David d’Escoto, Israel Wayne, Bradley Heath, T.C. Pinkney, R.J. Rushdoony,

For those who have “ears to hear,” there is a vast amount of Biblical, theological, historical, and educational evidence that supports what I have shared. I pray you look into the word of God, the ultimate authority on who is to be training our children and you will find that nowhere does God ever command the training or raising of a child to any institutions much less a humanistic, God hating system.

Many object to homeschooling based on the fact that God has called us to be “salt” and “light” and to evangelize the world. Ironically, this is precisely why we chose homeschooling. The Great Commission states: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I command you” (Matthew 28:19-20, emphasis added). How is this likely apart from Christian education? How can I effectively “make disciples” of my children if I send them off to the government school forty-five to fifty hours per week? The Nehemiah Institute, The National Study of Youth and Religion, and the Barna Report have shown us clearly that our children do not even understand–let alone obey–all that the Lord has commanded. Moreover, how can our children evangelize our government schools if they don’t know what they believe and why they believe it? Not to mention that all of the evidence currently points to the fact that our children are the evangelized, not the evangelists, in our nation’s schools. They are the ones being carried away by every wind of doctrine. . . . The Nehemiah Institute continues to demonstrate year after year that Christian children in government schools who actually retain anything close to a biblical worldview are the rare exception and not the rule. . . . Let me be clear–I applaud men and women whom God has called to teach in government schools. These people are front-line warriors, and they need to be right where they are. However, there is a big difference between sending fully trained disciples into enemy territory and sending recruits [children] to our enemy’s training camp. If we do the latter, we shouldn’t be surprised when they come home wearing the enemy’s uniform and charging the hill of our home waving the enemy flag.   – Voddie Baucham

Why homeschool?

http://unplugyourfamily.blogspot.com/p/why-home-education.html

Glen Beck: “We are being indoctrinated from dawn until dusk” so “darn right, we should abolish public schools”

This is a good blog to read, even thought I am not in agreement 100% with every single detail said in this blog.

http://bureaucraticdaycare.blogspot.com/2005/08/godless-education.html

Case against public school

http://www.masterbuilder.org/tracts/Public%20vs%20Christian%20School.htm

What’s really wrong with public schools?

http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue08/whats_wrong_with_schools.htm

Public School, what you’re up against!

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2003/public-schools.htm

Should christian parents send their children to public school?

http://www.seghea.com/homeschool/Schoolno.html

The Exodous Mandate

http://www.exodusmandate.org/info-about-us.htm

Brief history of the public school methodology

http://www.seghea.com/homeschool/redschool.html

What does the bible say about public school…
http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2012/01/thinking-like-a-christian-what-does-the-bible-say-about-public-school.html

The case for homeschooling
http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2011/02/a-case-for-homeschooling-is-there-a-biblical-model-for-education.html

RC Sproul Jr on Homeschooling

http://www.puritanfellowship.com/2007/12/r-c-sproul-jr-answers-homeschooling.html

Non-Christian Education is Sin and spiritual child abuse.

http://archive.theamericanview.com/index.php?id=840

Voddie Bachman

Homeschooling: The children of Caesar.

Why homeschool? Out of obedience!

http://gospeldrivenfamily.blogspot.com/2011/12/why-do-we-homeschool.html

Doctrines of Grace…Unconditional Election.

DOCTRINES OF GRACE – CATEGORIZED SCRIPTURE LIST

Unconditional Election

 

  1. 1.      God is Sovereign

Exo 15:18  The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

1Ch 29:11-12 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

2Ch 20:6  And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Psa 22:28  For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.

A)     He exercises that sovereignty in actively ordaining everything

Deu 32:39  See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.

1Sa 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.

Job 9:12  Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?

Job 12:6-10 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly. But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Psa 33:11  The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Psa 115:3  But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 135:6  Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Isa 14:24  The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Act 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

  • Including matters of “chance”

Pro 16:33  The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

1Ki 22:20  And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?…1Ki 22:34  And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. …1Ki 22:37  So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

  • The wicked actions of men

Gen 45:5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Gen 50:20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Exo 4:21  And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 

Jdg 14:1-4 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Psa 76:10  Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isa 44:28  That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.

Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Act 2:22-23 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Act 4:27-28 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

  • The actions of evil spirits

1Sa 16:14-16  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

1Ki 22:19-23 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

1Ch 21:1  And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel./2Sa 24:1  And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

  • The good actions of men

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Phi 2:12-13  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

  • The actions of good angels

Psa 103:20  Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Psa 104:4  Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

  • The actions of animals

Num 22:28  And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

1Ki 17:4  And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.

Psa 29:9  The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

Jer 8:7  Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.

Eze 32:4  Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee.

Dan 6:22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.

  • The operations of all creation

Gen 8:22  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Psa 104:5-10 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

Psa 104:13-14 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

Psa 104:19-20  He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

Mar 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

B)     Man is not permitted to question his sovereign acts

Job 33:12-13 Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

Isa 29:16  Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

Isa 45:9-10 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

Mat 20:1-16 [Parable of the laborers of the vineyard]

Rom 9:19-24  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

  1. 2.      God elects [i.e. chooses, predestines, foreordaines ]

A)     His angels

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

B)     His peculiar people, Israel

Exo 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Deu 7:6-8  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Deu 10:14-15 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.

Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

Isa 43:20-21 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

C)    Individuals to salvation

Psa 65:4  Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Act 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.

Rom 8:28-30  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.

Rom 9:10-24  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 the younger.  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Rom 11:5-7  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Eph 1:3-6  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:11-12  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, 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.

1Th 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

2Th 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

D)    Individuals to condemnation

Exo 4:21  And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Rom 9:13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Rom 9:17-18  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

Rom 9:21-22  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

  1. 3.      His motivation in election

A)     His own good pleasure

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

B)     The display of his glory

Isa 43:6-7  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Rom 9:22-24 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Eph 2:4-7  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

1Co 1:27-31  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

C)    His special love

Deu 7:6-8  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

D)    His foreknowledge

Rom 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.

1Pe 1:2  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

  • Which means his special love

Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Amo 3:2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

Mat 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

1Co 8:3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

2Ti 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.

1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained [Greek, “foreknown”] before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

E)     But not:

  • Any good [nobility, wisdom, power, choice, seeking] he foresees in anyone

Deu 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

Rom 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Rom 10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

1Cor 1:27-29 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

 

Total Depravity

  1. 1.      Man is constituted a sinner by his relationship with Adam

Psa 51:5  Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 

Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Rom 5:18-19  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

  1. 2.      He is therefore unable

A)     To do anything good

Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Psa 130:3  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

Psa 143:2  And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Pro 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Ecc 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Rom 3:9-12 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Jam 3:8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

1Jo 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

B)     To believe in God (or come to him)

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

Joh 6:65  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.  

Joh 8:43-45  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Joh 10:26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Joh 12:37-41  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

C)    To understand the truth

Joh 14:17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

D)    To seek God

Rom 3:10-11 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

  1. 3.      He is dead in sins

Gen 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 

Joh 3:5-7 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Eph 2:1-3 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

  1. 4.      He is blinded and corrupt in his heart

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Ecc 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Mar 7:21-23  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Joh 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in [by] God.

Rom 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Eph 4:17-19 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

  1. 5.      He is captive to sin and Satan

Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 

Rom 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 

2Ti 2:25-26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Tit 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

1Jo 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.  

  1. 6.      He performs actions freely according to his nature, but his nature is wholly evil

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one. 

Mat 7:16-18 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Mat 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Mar 7:21-23 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, “thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Jam 1:13-14  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Limited Atonement

  1. 1.      God purposed to redeem a certain people and not others

1Ch 17:20-21  O LORD, there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

1Pe 2:8-9 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

[see “God elects individuals to salvation”/God elects individuals to condemnation”]

A)     It is for these in particular that Christ gave his life

Is 53:10-11 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Joh 6:35-40  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 10:3-4  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice….Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep….Joh 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [we are commanded to love our wives in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave himself for it; therefore, if Christ loved and gave himself for all people in the same way, we are commanded to love all women in the same way that we love our wives]

Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

B)     It is for these in particular that Christ intercedes

Joh 17:1-2  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Joh 17:6-12  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 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. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Joh 17:20-21  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:24-26  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

C)    The people for whom Christ intercedes are the same as the people for whom he offered himself up as a sacrifice

Heb 7:24-27  But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. [note context, in which entering into the holy place is explicitly for the purpose of intercession]

Heb 9:24-28  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

[For a fuller understanding of the indissoluble connection between sacrifice and intercession, read Hebrews chapters 7-10]

  1. 2.      The atonement of Christ is effective

A)     To justify

Isa 53:11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. [the single effective cause of justification in view here is the bearing of iniquities; all whose iniquities Christ bore must be justified]

Rom 8:34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. [the argument here is that the fact of Christ’s death, resurrection, and intercession is in itself an incontrovertibly effective reason for non-condemnation; if this verse is true, then no one for whom Christ died and was raised to intercede may be condemned]

B)     To redeem and cleanse from sins

Eph 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

C)    To propitiate the Father

1Jo 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [“propitiation” means “the turning away or appeasement of wrath”; therefore, by definition, the Father has no more wrath against those whose sins have been propitiated]

1Jo 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

D)    To raise to new life

2Co 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [the argument is a simple “if/then” proposition: “if” Christ died for someone, “then,” with no other conditions, that person died with him and was raised again]

1Pe 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

[See also, “Jesus’ death purchased for his people a new heart; – faith; – repentance”. Jesus died in order to establish the New Covenant (Mt. 26:26-29, etc.); the New Covenant promised faith, repentance and knowledge of God (Jer. 31:33-34, Ez. 36:26-27, etc.); therefore, Jesus died in order to provide faith, repentance, and knowledge of God, as the fulfillment of a unilateral promise. This means that his death had a definite purpose which was intended for some and not others. His death effectively purchased faith; not all have faith; and so his death had an effective intent that was limited to certain persons.] 

  1. 3.      Those whom God purposed to redeem include all who believe

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

A)     From every nation

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

B)     From every class

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

1Ti 2:1-6  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 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. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [the first “all men” is explicitly tied to all classes of men, which gives warrant for understanding the second “all men” in the same way]

C)    Therefore, Christ’s saving work is commonly spoken of in terms of “all,” “world,” etc.

Joh 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Tit 2:11-14  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. [in the context of “all men” is the delimiting concept of a peculiar people, zealous of good works]

Heb 2:9-10  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [notice that the many sons whom Christ brings to glory gives a contextual delimiter to the term “every”]

2Pe 3:9  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. [note that this desire is explicitly limited to “us” (Peter was writing to fellow-believers) in the context]

1Jo 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [propitiation means “appeasement of wrath”; either Jesus appeases God’s wrath against all, and therefore hell (which is the place where God’s wrath resides) is non-existent; or the “whole world” means something different than “every individual who ever lived”. See John 11:51-52, and  “The word ‘world’ is often used in the sense of ‘many,’ or ‘all of a set’”]

D)    The word “all” is often used to indicate all of a set, or even many representatives of a set

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Mat 2:3  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Joh 4:29  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

Act 10:39  And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 17:21  (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

Act 21:28  Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

Act 26:4  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

E)     Or, to indicate all “classes” or “nations,” not all individuals

Mat 5:11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of [“manner of” is not in the Greek] evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Act 10:12  Wherein were all manner of [“manner of” is not in the Greek] fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

F)     The word “world” is often used in the sense of “many,” or “all of a set”

Luk 2:1-2  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Joh 6:33  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Joh 12:19  The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

Act 19:27  So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.

Rom 1:8  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 

  1. 4.      Additional reasons that the atonement of Christ is not for all the sins of all people

A)     God punishes people in hell, which would be unjust if their sins were atoned for

Mar 9:43-44  And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

B)     If one were to say, “their sins are atoned for, but that atonement is not applied because of unbelief,” he fails to realize that unbelief is likewise a sin

Heb 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

[“The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for either:

1) All the sins of all men;

2) All the sins of some men; or

3) Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

1) If the last be true all men have some sins to answer for, and so none are saved;

2) That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of the elect in  the whole world, and this is the truth;

3) But if the first is the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins? You answer, Because of unbelief. I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!” – John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ]

C)    God bears eternal wrath against people, which by definition means that his wrath against them has not been propitiated [appeased]

1Th 2:16  Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.

2Th 1:6-9  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

  1. 5.      Intentions of Christ’s death other than atonement

A)     To make a public display of demons

Col 2:13-15  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

B)     To rule over everyone

Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

C)    To redeem creation

Isa 35:1-4  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

Rom 8:20-23  For the creature [in Greek, same word as “creation,” verse 22] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature [in Greek, same word as “creation,” verse 22] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

D)    To lay the foundation for a genuine gospel call

Joh 6:39-40  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 7:37-38  In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

E)     To provide temporal mercies for the non-elect

Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

 

Irresistible Grace

  1. 1.      Faith and Repentance (as well as the new heart which is able to produce them) are themselves gifts of God

A)     A new heart

Deu 30:6  And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Eze 11:19  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Eze 36:26-27  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  

B)     Faith

Joh 3:27  John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Phi 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

2Pe 1:1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

Act 16:14  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

Act 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:

Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

John 6:63-65 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe.”(For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65And he said,”This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

C)    Repentance

Act 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

Act 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

2Ti 2:25-26 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

1Co 4:7  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

  1. 2.      The Father writes his own word upon (places the fear of himself in, etc.) his people’s hearts

Jer 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jer 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.

Mat 16:15-17  He saith unto them, But whom 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.

Luk 10:21  In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Joh 6:45  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

  1. 3.      The beginning of salvation is the sovereign impartation of spiritual life into a heart which had been dead, thereby causing it to exercise faith

1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Eze 37:3-6, 11-14  And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD….Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

Joh 1:11-13  He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Joh 3:3-8  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Joh 5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

Eph 2:1-5  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Jam 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1Jo 2:29  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

  1. 4.      True offers of grace in the outward gospel call may be resisted by men who do not have this new heart

Act 17:32-33  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them.

  1. 5.      In fact, true offers of grace will always be resisted by such men

Joh 10:24-26 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

Joh 12:37-40  But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

  1. 6.      But there are some whom God causes to come to him

Psa 65:4  Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

Psa 110:3  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Joh 6:37-40  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Rom 9:15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

 

Perseverance of the Saints

  1. 1.      What God begins, he finishes

Psa 138:8  The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Ecc 3:14  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

Isa 46:4  And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Jer 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.

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Phi 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:

2Ti 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

  1. 2.      Of all whom he has called and brought to Christ, none will be lost

Joh 6:39-40  And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 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.

Rom 8:28-31  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. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:35-39 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.

Heb 7:25  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

  1. 3.      God’s preservation of the saints is not irrespective of their continuance in the faith

1Co 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19-21  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of 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.

Heb 10:26-27 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Rev 21:7-8  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 22:14-15  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

  1. 4.      However, it is God who sanctifies us and causes us to persevere

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

1Co 1:30-31  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Gal 3:1-6 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Phi 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1Th 5:23-24 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Heb 13:20-21  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1Jo 2:29  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Jud 1:24-25  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, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 Article by: Nathan Pitchford

God’s Chosen Few…

The most hated doctrine of the Bible is the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.  The number one argument against the doctrine of election is that it is “unfair” for God to exercise His sovereignty. People who don’t understand the sovereignty of God say “it’s unfair for God to choose some and not others.”  Let’s see what the Bible says about us questioning the will of God.

 Romans 9:14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.  19You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? 22What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.

Beloved, who are we to question how JUST God is? I will propose that we have no right to question the will of God. What do we know about justice? When we question the doctrine of election we are indeed saying that we know what “just” is, God doesn’t. Do you truly want justice? If God would have exercised complete justice  and  chosen to withhold mercy and grace to His elect, where would you be spending eternity? Hell for all of us is true justice my friend. That goes to show how skewed and backwards our view of justice is.  To many believers justice is “God wanting all to be saved by decree or saving all humans beings” and injustice is for God to “elect some to be recipients of His mercy and grace while allowing others to end up in hell.” Is this not backwards? To the contrary, justice would be exercised fully if all human beings spent eternity in hell for their utter depravity. “Injustice/Unfairness” (notice the quotation marks because a more accurate term would be grace, getting what you do not deserve), is that the elect or predestined one receive mercy (not getting what you deserve) instead of the punishment due from Almighty God.  Why would I call this injustice? If we were in a court of law, having violated any of the 10 commandments we (all) would be found guilty before the Judge (God). The judge (God) through the law sets the standard all must adhere to and as advocate of justice, He would have to condemn us to death for our transgressions as the law states (Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death).  If the judge (God) would let any of us go without paying the penalty, He would be unjust and an abomination himself for allowing the guilty free without payment. There would be no mercy, for justice MUST be fulfilled. God can’t be unjust, thus out of his sovereign will and choice predestined a few unto salvation and provided a way for Him to carry out justice while extending mercy and grace to underserving sinners through the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Yet, you would have to agree with me that it is unfair that we are saved. We don’t deserve it and could do nothing to  merit such unfathomable gift. Not that God was being unfair in saving us but that the gift of salvation in and out of itself is not what we deserve. Giving us what we deserve would be justice in its fullness. At the cross justice and mercy were reconciled and grace extended to those predestined before the foundation of the world. What a glorious God we serve!

“God reserves to himself the absolute sovereign right to pardon whom He will. To the rest He gives justice, not one person in this universe deserves the grace of God.” RC Sproul

People reject the doctrine of election mainly because of pride. They want to have some role or play a part in their salvation. They want the feeling of “ I did something right, I repented, I had enough faith, etc.” All of these thoughts start with the letter “I”. Self centeredness and pride are at the core of the rejection of the doctrine of election.

Righteousness and justice is the foundation of the throne of God. See, you have stepped way out of bounds when you think you have the right and ability to decide what is “just” for God to do. Election is “just” because God wills it. Something is “just” because God wills it, not the other way around. God is the ONLY one who is qualified to set the measure of true justice. There are questions about this doctrine that we will never have answers to until’ we get home for only God knows his ways. Our finite mind simply cannot fully comprehend an infinite God.  Isaiah 55:8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

The doctrine of election is beautifully displayed with the Jewish people, Israel. Did the Jewish people choose God or did God choose the Jewish nation? Deut 7:6 “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Let’s look at several scriptures speaking on the subject…

1 Pet 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,.  In the Greek it says “to chosen strangers” .

The word chosen is eklektos (Strong’s 1588). Definition: chosen out, elect, choice, select, sometimes as subst: of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him (of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians).  Cognate: 1588 eklektós (an adjective, derived from 1586 /eklégomai, “to select, choose,” also used as a substantive/noun) – properly, selected (chosen from, out of), especially as a deeply personal choice – literally “chosen, out of a personal preference (intention).” See 1586 (eklegomai).

These are other verses that use the word eklektos. Matt 24:22, Matt 24:24, Matt 24:31, Rom 8:33, Luke 18:7 and Col 3:12. Look over those verses and translate it to the appropriate definition above and you have just exercised proper hermeneutics to that part of the text. J When you translate the verse by substituting “chosen or elect” with the definition above, read the verses before and after in order to keep it in context, the chapter and book. Ask yourself who was this written to? What did God mean? How does this apply to my life? You have just carried out proper exegesis of the verse. J Proper interpretation of the word must be done in context and systematically if we’re to correctly study the word of God.

Paul writes, 2 Tim 2:10 “For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” Again the word chosen is the word eklektos in Greek.

You are a Christian because you are chosen by God. Just like Israel was chosen, Christians are chosen by God. Acts 15:14 “Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.” God plan was to choose or take out a people for himself from among the gentiles. Who did the choosing? God. From among whom did He choose? Gentiles. Why did He choose them in particular? We don’t know but we do not it was for Himself.

This is a picture of the doctrine of election in the book of Matthew. Matt 24:1“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3“About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went.“He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7“‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered.“He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13“But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Does God not have the right to do what He pleases? Or must we now approve of what we fell God should or shouldn’t do? Ponder upon that friend.

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Here Jesus speaks to the apostles saying “you did not choose me”, wait a minute! What do you mean, they had to choose to believe and follow Christ did they not? The answer is No. They were given by God to Christ ( see John 17:9), chosen by God and Christ, granted faith to follow Christ or else they wouldn’t have believed and gifted irresistible grace to which they simply couldn’t refuse the call. They in no way choose to follow Christ but Christ choose them to follow Him. What a beautiful picture.

Acts 14:38 “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Appointed – tetagmenoi in Greek (Strong’s 5021) meaning to draw up in order, arrange, determine, appoint.  Who were appointed? The gentiles. What were they appointed to? Eternal life. Did they believe first and thus became “Christians” or were they appointed first and because of this they believed?

Matt 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:14 Greek Study Bible (Apostolic / Interlinear)

πολλοὶ γὰρ εἰσιν κλητοί, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί.

KJV with Strong’s
For many are called but few are chosen


Greek

Transliteration

Strong’s

Morphology

English

πολλοὶ

polloi

4183

A-NPM

many

γὰρ

gar

1063

CONJ

For

εἰσιν

eisin

1526

V-PAI-3P

are

κλητοί

klētoi

2822

A-NPM

called

ὀλίγοι

oligoi

3641

A-NPM

few

δὲ

de

1161

CONJ

but

ἐκλεκτοί

eklektoi

1588

A-NPM

chosen

 

4183. polus


much, many

Original Word: πολύς, πολλή, πολύ
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: polus
Phonetic Spelling: (pol-oos’)
Short Definition: much, many, often
Definition: much, many; often.

4183 polýsmany (high in number); multitudinous, plenteous, “much”; “great” in amount (extent).

 

2822. klétos


called

Original Word: κλητός, ή, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: klétos
Phonetic Spelling: (klay-tos’)
Short Definition: called, summoned
Definition: called, invited, summoned by God to an office or to salvation.

Cognate: 2822 klētós – literally, “called” (derived from 2564/kaleō, “to call, summon”). See 2821 (klēsis).

 

3641. oligos


few, little, small

Original Word: ὀλίγος, η, ον
Part of Speech: Adjective; Adverb
Transliteration: oligos
Phonetic Spelling: (ol-ee’-gos)
Short Definition: small, brief, few, soon
Definition: (a) especially in plur: few, (b) in sing: small; hence, of time: short, of degree: light, slight, little.

 

1588. eklektos


select, by impl. favorite

Original Word: ἐκλεκτός, ή, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: eklektos
Phonetic Spelling: (ek-lek-tos’)
Short Definition: chosen, elect, choice, select
Definition: chosen out, elect, choice, select, sometimes as subst: of those chosen out by God for the rendering of special service to Him (of the Hebrew race, particular Hebrews, the Messiah, and the Christians).

 

If we were to translate this it would say… A high number (many) are invited but a small number are the elect. This goes hand in hand with Matt 7:14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” The word few in this verse if the same word in Matt 22:14. A small/little amount of people find it.

Romans 11:5 “In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.” The word choice is ekogen in Greek (String’s 1589) meaning a divine selection, a choosing out, selecting, choice by God.

These are other passages (summarized) you can study on election.

1 Cor 1:9 “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”

1 Thess 1:4 ~ Chose you.

2 Thess 2:13 ~ Chosen from the beginning.

2 Tim 1:9 ~ Saved us and called us before time began.

Rev 13:8 ~ Except those who were written in the book before the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:8 ~  Written before the foundation of the world.

Rev 17:14 ~ Chosen

Rev 20 ~ Names in the book before the foundation of the world.

Luke 4:25-27 ~ God’s selection. The respectable leaders of Israel despised the doctrine of election especially when they heard they weren’t. For it was no coincidence that God had chosen a gentile in this story.

Eph 1:11 “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined (proorizo) according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,”

4309. proorizó

to predetermine, foreordain

Original Word: προορίζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: proorizó
Phonetic Spelling: (pro-or-id’-zo)
Short Definition: I foreordain, predetermine
Definition: I foreordain, predetermine, mark out beforehand.

In my opinion this is the best passage in the NT concerning the doctrine of election.

Eph 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose (eklego) us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5hec predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”  When did God choose us? Before the creation of the world. What is the purpose for which God choose us? To be holy and blameless in His sight. How are we to do this? Through Him (Christ).

1586. eklegó

to select

Original Word: ἐκλέγομαι
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: eklegó
Phonetic Spelling: (ek-leg’-om-ahee)
Short Definition: I choose, elect
Definition: I pick out for myself, choose, elect, select.

1586 eklégomai (from 1537 /ek, “out of” and 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – properly, to select (choose) out of, by a highly deliberate choice (i.e. real heart-preference) with a definite outcome (as with the destination of divine selection for salvation).

The doctrine of election teaches us 2 things.

1- God is in charge of all things.

2- He is so gracious to us who can’t earn it, to spend eternity worshipping Him.

God has chosen the elect from eternity past. As long as God has existed the elect have been in God’s mind. Salvation doesn’t depend on ones will but the sovereign mercy of God.