Tag Archives: sin
The first order says that a person, of their own volition (though through the preaching of the Gospel), decides to have faith in Christ. This faith that a person decides to exercise is the catalyst for the entire salvation process. Once a person decides for him/herself to exercise this faith, repentance and regeneration follow and the salvation process commences and is completed.
The problem with this view is…
What is mind-boggling to me is the number of self-professing Christians that are unhappy with the statement. I can understand lost people hating it, they hate the truth of God’s Word. Their mind and heart are ravaged by sin and under the influence of their inherent sin nature. As enemies of God (we are all born this way), they reject His authority and the clear principles for life given in Scripture. After all, darkness hates light. Darkness craves darkness to continue evil deeds that darkness loves. So when lost people react with vitriol to a biblical statement of orthodox Christian doctrine, it’s no surprise.
But I can’t figure out why Christians are so upset.
As Christians, we need to think biblically about this incident, and about racism in general. Before we do that, I want to point out a couple of things that are important for us to consider.
First, the people involved in this demonstration were young. It has been common to think that racists are old, outdated people that will soon die and take their evil ideas with them. But, the faces in the crowd in Charlottesville were young. I can only assume that their grandfathers are dead because, if they were alive, they would denounce their activity and remind them that they fought a world war because of racism.
Second, racism is a human thing. It’s not merely a white thing,
I have a friend that moved his family to Belize for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with the people there. One of the reasons he felt called to be there was that the people did not have a Bible in their native language. My friend wanted to go and help translate a Bible and use it to share the Gospel. People often comment about how incredible it is that my friend would make this decision.
But is it really a good thing?
R.C. Sproul is one of the world’s leading theologians, pastors, apologists, and evangelical authors. His podcast is listened to daily by people across the globe. His books are in house all over the world. He is a respected Christian that ahs dedicated his life to addressing the tough questions we often ask. Recently I was listening to one of his podcasts in which he was addressing the question of whether innocent people that have never heard the Gospel go to hell. Sproul says the question is loaded with presumptions, but the answer is very simple:
First I want to say that I am thankful for Maddi’s decision to keep her baby. I would hope that in a Christian home this would be the case but we all know that it has not always turned out this way. The fact that this young lady will graduate high school and soon after give birth to her first child is a credit to her faith. I rejoice that the tiny life inside her will not be subjected to torture and death.
But the real issue here is not the fact that Maddi chose life.
While we may have good intentions for our efforts to comfort grieving parents, Christians must make sure that their intentions, efforts, and words are based solely on Scripture. There is no real comfort in telling someone what cannot be supported by Scripture. So before we tell parents that their child is now in Heaven, we need to examine Scripture to determine whether that is true or not.
The traditional, somewhat historical position can be summed up in a statement by Sam Storms, writing at The Gospel Coalition, when he says:
The view concerning man’s will is one of debate among Arminians and Reformed theologians. Arminians believe that man has the ability, the free will, to choose Christ. Reformed theologians believe that due to the bondage of the will to sin, man does not have the ability to choose Christ without the regenerating work and effectual calling of the Holy Spirit. This distinction has been the source of much debate between these two theological groups.
Before moving forward, it is important to understand that it is a universally agreed upon fact that man has a will and can make choices based upon that will. However, what is not true is that man has the ability to freely choose Christ based solely upon his own free will. Let me explain the difference.
In these verses we come to understand that the will of man is bent on evil and rejection of God. There is no one that will, of his own free will, choose God (Rom. 3:10-19). In fact, the human will is so captive to sin that no man has any desire for God and prefers the darkness over the light (John 3:19). This means that the idea of free will is true. But it also means that if given a choice man will always choose sin, the darkness, and always choose to reject Christ.
When given the choice between sin and Christ, man will always choose sin.
Regarding salvation God’s sovereignty is a critical aspect that is misunderstood by many Christians. Some choose to reject the biblical doctrine of election because, in their words, “it’s not fair.” But, as we will see, the doctrine of election and God’s sovereignty cannot be divorced.
Concerning election and God’s sovereignty, we understand that God freely elects some to saving faith in Jesus while others are destined for eternal destruction. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans this way:
In the entire Bible there is a single scene that is at once the most loving and most terrifying in all of Scripture. In fact, it’s the most painful scene in all of history. If we’re not careful, we will pass over this scene without fully considering its implications and appreciating its magnitude.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he demonstrated His obedience to the Father and His love for humanity in the most painful and terrifying way possible. Scripture records the scene for us: