Is the love of Jesus all we need to know?


One of the biggest inspirations I sometimes get for blog articles come from comments I get on the blog. A year or so ago, I decided to shut down comments on the blog, because I literally was spending far more time answering comments than writing articles. If I were writing about Beanie Babies, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m writing about serious issues facing Christianity, and about the word of God, and that often requires a lot of research.

There are some articles I’ve left open, because the effort to go back through 1500 articles and turn off comments in the WordPress.com system takes a lot of time, and I just wasn’t able to find the time to do it.

So naturally, someone protested my word faith articles, and after mistaking me for a Calvinist simply because I insisted you should at least go to Seminary for 3 years before preaching the word of God, made the comment that the Word Faith preachers said a lot of good things and that they dwelt on the most important issue, the love of Christ.

All right then, let me answer that. What subject in the Bible is far more important than the love of Christ? Here’s the answer. Ready?

There isn’t any.

But is that all we need to know? I’m not online right now, and I don’t remember if that was specifically stated or just strongly implied.

I knew that Jesus loved me before I was saved.  What I didn’t know is that God is angry with the wicked.

Psalm 7:11 (KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

So, as an unsaved man, I did not realize that my sins made me offensive in the sight of God.

Hardly your best life ever.

But if you repent and turn to Jesus Christ to be saved, a miracle happens.  You’re saved, and that guilt and punishment is gone.

But is that all we need to know?

No.

Because what if I knew all that but denied the Trinity?

Oh. So there’s more than we need to know.

What if I believe in Jesus Christ but deny His eternal Sonship? It’s tantamount to saying Jesus Christ is not God.

So, we need to know that, too.

What if I don’t know I need to repent to be saved? If you don’t like that statement, your argument is with God and not me. The Bible makes it clear.

Matthew 4:17 (KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

If I don’t know I need to repent to be saved, if all I do is rely upon raising my hand during a church service, then we believe in essentially salvation through exercise. Worshipping athletics won’t keep you from Hell.

There’s essential doctrines, since the Bible describes doctrines of men as being “damnable”. In other words, if you reject doctrine – a popular stance among Christians today – the Bible makes it clear that the doctrines you believe could be ones that do not save you.

Should you run out right now and buy Hodge’s “Great Doctrines of the Bible?” No, because comprehensive theologies and theological surveys are almost always written by Calvinists – and I am most certainly not a Calvinist. I’d recommend Ryrie’s book instead, but be warned on that – Ryrie obviously read Calvinist materials while preparing for his book, and he falls for the Calvinist trap of calling the Bible’s plan of Salvation “Semi-plagiarism”.

A dedicated STUDY of the Bible, and a habit of writing things down under headings goes a long way. To do this in Logos is actually not as easy as in other programs. For instance, you could start a user book in Quickverse (if you still own it) as a dictionary, and put every verse you see on “justification” under that heading.

That’s a powerful research tool. You can do that in E-Sword, Quickverse, Swordsearcher, and Wordsearch. To do it in Bible Analyzer and Logos requires making a long, long, long user book, and manually sorting out the definitions you want to list, and THEN putting them in there.

Is the love of Christ the only thing you need to know?

You tell me.

There’s a lot of people, such as Karl Barth, who said so – but that was because Barth was a theological liberal who disguised it, using platitudes he knew would distract Evangelicals and get an “Amen” every time. It worked while he was alive, and I certainly hope he changed his beliefs on the deity of Christ and the Virgin Birth, because otherwise right now, he’s urging you to accept that there are a few things you need to know and understand beyond the love of Jesus Christ.

Luke 16:27-31 (KJV) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

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A Little confused


I use a start page for the internet, where I have certain websites with news feeds linked. David Cloud hasn’t published to his RSS for about 3 years, because he’s doing much better with email anyway.

But I get the SermonAudio news on my start page, and every day I’m rolling my eyes, as it’s some article that is talking about both Christian persecution and “christian” persecution.

It’s rapidly a growing fact that God-fearing Christians are becoming the most persecuted peoples on earth. I read of horrifying things happening in other countries that love to boast of their religious tolerance. And other forms of persecution nowhere near as bad, but persecution nonetheless.

Then, there’s the stories where they talk about Christian persecution, but I read the article, and it’s talking about (usually) a Roman Catholic. And sometimes a Mormon.

These are not Christians.

Then recently, SermonAudio ran an article on an Evangelistic organization that was being questioned because they were –get this – partnering with Catholics.

Okay, let me get this straight – you’ve published many links to articles about Roman Catholics being persecuted and calling them Christians – but when someone else makes that same error, you’re calling them out on it?

I’m confused. Either you think Catholics are Christians, or they’re not. in case you haven’t figured it out yet, they believe in salvation by works and that’s a heresy. it’s also why Logos is constantly putting up little interviews on “we need to re-think the keeping of the law” – because there’s agenda’s there. But I digress, as usual.

If Catholics are Christians (which they’re not), then why does it matter if a Fundamentalist organization is getting swept up in the fervor of Ecumenism that is building the one world “church” that the Antichrist will use?

If Catholics are not Christians, then why have you listed so many articles that claim that they are?

Do most Christians even think anymore? I’m not the only one – I’ve got 300 readers who may not agree with me on everything, but surely must have grasped this essential point!

So I’m calling SermonAudio out on this. Think for a minute, decide what you believe. Is it the truth? Or Ecumenism and Evangelicalism? If it’s Ecumenism, then don’t call others to task for falling for the same lies you believe!

If it’s the truth, then clean the pew you sit in first!

8 Important Series to read on Narrow is the Way!


A few of you here are new. You’ll notice I sometimes use an odd structuring of English when I speak. Kind of a throwback to growing up in New England, and also a throwback to growing up speaking Yiddish. Mostly that. A Little.

Anyway, many of you who are new aren’t familiar with some of my earlier articles. I thought I’d give a list to the ones I thought were the most important.

  1. Evolution. My series on Evolution was the liveliest one I ever did. Atheists flocked to it, and we actually had some good exchanges. One thing I found in this series was many Atheists don’t like being called atheists, they prefer agnostic. I told them over and over again their definition of their beliefs was not agnostic, and they’d get upset. But it was a surprisingly respectful conversation with many of them. A couple of really insulting and aggressive ones popped in, but for the most part, really good responses. I was proud of this series, because I really hammered Evolution in many ways, including ways most other people have never brought up. I don’t think anyone else really ever dealt with the Warm Little Pond theory before I did, and I destroyed that one. I actually visited a link back someone placed on an article in this series, and it was an atheist telling others to go read my description of Hell “if they could take it”, so they could know what Christians really believe. To know my less than vivid descriptions of Hell were having an effect on Atheists means a lot – I pray the Lord some of these smart and yes, sometimes very funny men get saved. Atomic Mutant, still praying for ya, buddy!

  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses
    . This one I was REALLY proud of. I love how it turned out. I had a few nasty comments, including some from a Christadelphian who was incensed that I called Russell a Seventh Day Adventist. I wish I’d had Evernote back then, because I found an official SDA webpage where they’d admitted they consider Charles T Russell to be a Seventh Day Adventist, which was why I put the comment up. Once my article hit the web, suddenly that SDA page was edited to remove the admission. But on the whole, I dealt with every aspect of their theology and debunked it. For over two years, someone was coming back every day and re-reading the articles. Then suddenly three or four a day. I only hope I  meet just one person, just one in Heaven, who says “I left the Watchtower Society because of your blog.” Everything will be worth it to hear that.
  3. Roman Catholicism. This one produced a lot of hate. Funny how I’m Catholic bashing, but they’re not Baptist Bashing. And one of them responded in anger how offended he was that I claimed to be Jewish. So I answered him with some Yiddish, and he was perplexed. I guess his assumption was that if he was a catholic, he was a Jew. Mine is the only series I’ve ever seen where anyone dealt with the Magisterium first. A Catholic apologist once left a comment on my web site he wanted to see someone answer Rome without using the “same old defeated arguments”. I reposted the entire series and he said not a word. One that gave me the most trouble was so nice – but to no avail. He simply would not listen to reason, and I cut the whole exchange off.
  4. Word Faith/Charismatic. Surprisingly, this still remains one of the top draw items to my blog – not the entire series, just article #10, where I present a timeline people can download. Despite EVERYTHING I wrote in this series, a Charismatic came on to the blog and proceeded to tell me I was studying the Bible too much, and needed to let go, let this be my moment of desperation, my moment of expectation, and I would begin speaking in tongues… needless to say, after a couple of exchanges, she left, and I still don’t speak in tongues.
  5. Church Planting. I sincerely hope that since bloggers consider this kind of in depth series an “evergreen” article, that someone out there uses it to start a church plant. I got right into naming the church, starting it, materials, church covenant, statement of faith and by-laws, etc. If you feel called to the ministry, here you go – I’ve done EVERYTHING for you!
  6. Messianic Judaism – the series that started a thousand angry responses… on other websites. To my knowledge, I’m one of the only blogs ever to take on Messianic Judaism. There’s another I’ve seen, but as far as I know.. That’s it. Everyone else is just content to sit back and let them lead people astray with nary a comment. Read this, borrow the principles I’m using, and write your own articles on why Messianic Judaism is heresy. Most of the responses I got was people on their own websites challenging me to debates, resorting to straw man arguments, then knocking those down. In reality, my arguments were on my website, and.. They never addressed the points I raised, merely repeating their own flawed and overly circular reasoning. This one I may end up re-doing!
  7. Textual Criticism series. Good series. I made a number of people angry with this one, though, and it eventually led to my decision to stop allowing comments.
  8. Seventh Day Adventist series. Also very good. I was happy with this one, but got nary a comment except from an Adventist over 18 months later, who wouldn’t admit he was an Adventist – which of course a quick internet search revealed the fact that not only was he SDA, but his family heralded back to those who knew Ellen G. White. His technique was the tried and true method of repeat yourself until we both get annoyed and you leave. I put the entire comment exchange online.

One series I wasn’t happy with was the Mormonism series. It was correctly deduced by one Mormon that I had never read the book of Mormon. However, I just don’t have the time to engage in a lengthy study of the BoM, PGP and D&C to refute them – so this series never really lived up to its potential (I should mention that it was enthusiastically received by other Mormon apologetic sites at the time). It will have to wait until I retire to fully deal with this series.

Sad Note to the Jehovah’s Witnesses series


Right now, I’m feeling a need to go back through all my Christian videos on my hard drive, and enjoying it. I’d used some of Ex-Gilead Missionary’s videos as research for the Jehovah’s Witnesses series., and downloaded one or two more of them for study.

There’s a lot of information on there I never used. I did use his information on Paradise Earth, and combined it with my own research on it, and he’s effective in what he does (after all, he knows how JW’s think)…

But the sad part was getting the last video he put up. He’d abruptly stopped his videos, and the last video was “what do I believe after leaving the Watchtower society?”

Sadly, it was something of a mocking video, where faith in God is ridiculed. I was heartbroken, hoping that he’d have made the logical leap from JW to Christian. However, he allowed hurt and anger to rule him, and he is now an atheist.

This means he’s never truly studied and settled within himself the existence of God. Since there’s no way to exponentiate on WordPress, I’m unable to post the exact mathematical formula for God.

But it’s like this, expressed long form. X to the Zero Power Equals One.

Newtonian physics prove it to me – every item set in movement has a force that set it in movement. The Big Bang is exceptionally lacking in explaining the universe (notice I didn’t capitalize the U – Atheists do it unconsciously because the universe is their idol), and I’m afraid I just don’t have that much faith to believe in Atheism.

The issue of God was settled by Neal Armstrong in the 1960’s. A Russian Cosmonaut had made headlines by announcing on TV that he did not see God when his capsule broke the earth’s atmosphere. Armstrong’s response when they went into space was to say, “I do not see God, but I see the wonders that He has made.”

Ex-Gilead Missionary, the problem is this – you’re not looking at facts. You’re looking at rhetoric and half baked theories.

Something set the planets in motion. Observing the pellets in a shotgun blast show you that the Big Bang cannot explain planetary orbits, planetary creation, stars, comets, atmospheres, and life on the planets. The warm little pond hypothesis relies on so much chance that it literally statistically is magnitudes beyond the point mathematicians declare something to be impossible – even if it did work, and the Urie experiments yielded ooze, not life.

Statistically speaking, there’s no way that life could have arisen by chance.

My final point is – there’s an empty tomb in Jerusalem.

You enjoyed reading your Bible, and that got you out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Now it’s time to face that Bible, and understand that unlike Evolution and atheism, the Bible is truth. It’s history. It’s facts.

Read it, seek the Lord, pray. You’ll find your answers.

5 Things to Blog About On Your Christian Blog


Blog

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

When I started my blog, I had no intention of starting to blog – I just felt endlessly frustrated from how far away Christianity was getting from the Bible.So, I blogged the first few months, just writing whatever came to mind.

Then my wife suggested I go ahead and take it public, which I did. It took about 4 days to get my original blog posts online. I think I then went into my first series’.

What should you blog about? That’s ultimately up to you. But if you like this blog, then here’s some suggestions…

  1. Use Evernote to start clipping articles that you want to research. Much of the source of this blog has been responses to eBooks I’ve found online, and articles I found I just had to address. I used to print the articles to PDF, but quickly found I’d lose track of them, and sometimes searching for those took hours. It would have been a lot easier if I’d found Evernote 5 years ago! Some articles I might have been able to write in advance, and then deal with the comment wars! I probably have close to a thousand articles I’ve never been able to read, simply because I didn’t know which one it was.
  2. Get source materials on Apologetics. Evidence That Demands a Verdict is a major source for much of my early articles and arguments. When I branched out to actually begin confronting cults, I actually began to develop my own arguments and voice! I did the Word Faith articles before I found the Justin Peters videos – but thanks to Damon Whitsell, I found the Peters videos just as I was finishing that series up, if I remember correctly.
  3. Read SermonAudio news. This will provide a lot of actual source material for good rants, Be warned – for a while all the articles on SermonAudio kept dealing with subjects that Christians should not be talking about, reading, or thinking about. Be prayerful as you consult that site. They haven’t done it in a while, but be warned that they have.
  4. Pick topics you know you have to address. One of my favorites was the Atheism articles. I got a LOT of good exchanges out of that, and actually scored some “thinking points” with some of the atheists. A couple were obnoxious, but one or two left this web site feeling a little unsure of themselves. But when I resolved to take this live, I knew I’d be addressing Roman Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Messianic Judaism, Church of Christ, and Ecumenism. Write your list!
  5. What’s your burden? I’ve written a lot in five years, but certain subjects I keep coming back to! The Bible remains the focal point of my ministry, and salvation. Really, in my eyes, almost everything I’ve written falls into one or two of these categories!
Conclusion

The process of developing ideas for your blog can be done easily with a few simple steps! Really, for a Fundamentalist, there’s no real reason for anyone to say, “I have nothing to blog about!”

7 Must Have Tools for Christian Apologists


 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Christian apologetics is a must for every Christian with a web site. The better ones have training from a seminary, but any Christian armed with a Bible and at least 3 years as a Christian can engage in an effective apologetics ministry.

Certain books and tools are must haves for Christians seeking to give this a try…

  1. Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell. See if you can find the original version of this – it’s very low priced (less than $10 at CBD). This is a book that you will end up underlining parts! Be warned – this book will come apart on you. It’s got about 500 pages, and reading it as often as I have (or looking things up!) will end up with the book falling apart on you. Buy some tape and tape the pages back in.
  2. Logos 7. Get Logos 7 Basic, and the King James Bible for $9.99. I’ve amassed quite a library in it by God’s providential blessing, and I don’t take it for granted! You can quite literally teach yourself Koine Greek with it very effectively, if you get the Baptist Starter package. Use the Textus Receptus and the King James, and you’re good to go. Strong’s? You’re about to find out you don’t need it! Be warned, once you start buying stuff for Logos, you end up needing to put on the brakes! You won’t need anything more than the Bronze package.
  3. Bible Analyzer. You’ll need this to really dig into God’s word, although since I talk about Bible Analyzer so much, it’s as if Logos is peeking, and they keep adding yet another feature that previously only Bible Analyzer had!
  4. The Hovind videos. I really mourn how Kent Hovind went off the deep end and became a supporter of the Shack. However, his second series of videos (with government conspiracies and odd cancer cures removed) is a must-have. NOTHING irritates people who won’t believe in God like a Hovind quote!
  5. The Evolution Cruncher book. Free download. I keep meaning to put it in Word and compile a Logos user book with it. I just wish they’d listened to me, and added it in a Fundamentalist’s package!
  6. Way of Life Encyclopedia. Cannot say enough about this. I really should get this hardcover. I’m constantly looking things up in it, and it often has exactly the response I’m looking for in it!
  7. Answering the Myths on the Bible Version Debate. Yup. This too is a book you need on hand to answer all of the common comments and questions I used to get on the King James Bible debate. I answered one person completely from this book – it answered his every argument in so much detail he left my blog and never came back.
Conclusion

There are many other tools and books you should look into, but consider these seven your starting points!

7 Reasons to Contend For the Faith


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Christianity has its share of detractors, many of whom have simply made up their minds in advance what they think Christianity is, and they’re opposed to it. They often don’t want to be bothered with facts – their minds are made up already!

To contend for the faith requires simply prayer, a little study, a few tools, and lots and lots of patience. Don’t pray for patience – that’s a bad idea.

But putting yourself in the line of fire doesn’t sound like fun! So, why should you jump out there and do this?

  1. The Lord commanded you to. For most of Christianity, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. You really don’t have any choice in the matter. If you’re a Christian, this is something the Lord has commanded you to do. These are orders, not suggestions.
  2. You were witnessed to by someone. Very few people just decide to become Christians for no reason, Usually there’s someone who just won’t take no for an answer.If nobody witnessed to you ever, then… how would you ever have gotten saved? What if the person who witnessed to you simply decided “That’s for someone else to do – I’m going to coast!” Where would you spend eternity?
  3. You have no excuses not to. It’s been said nobody needs to show they’re called to missions – rather, the burden is on Christians to show they’re called to stay home!
  4. The Lord witnessed to those who were willing to hear. Since Jesus Christ did many things as an example to us, then obviously we should follow in His steps!
  5. Spiritually, you will wither if you do not! Christians feel the best when they’re actively involved in learning and sharing. When we first got saved, my wife and I spent a lot of time listening to preaching. Every night. And we were ordering tracts and leaving them all over town. When we stopped doing it, it felt like part of us died. Get back to your first love.
  6. Heaven is real. No, I don’t need Todd Burpo telling me it’s real, because what he wrote down about Heaven bears little resemblance to the Bible’s depictions of Heaven, so I disregard his story as well… made up. But this is important to keep in mind! You’re going there. Others are not…
  7. Hell is Real. Here’s the ultimate reason to contend for the faith. If you do nothing, then people will suffer forever. Think about the people whom you care about. You want that to happen to them? If you do nothing, I guarantee that’s what’s going to happen to them.
Conclusion

Contending for the faith is part of your Christian faith. It’s part of what Christians are required to do. Do it now! He who winneth souls is wise.