Response regarding 1 John 5:7-8

One of the articles on this blog, “The Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”, from April 3, 2011, recently received a comment from Pastor Gary Lockyer, a Baptist preacher in Australia. Please take the time to read his comment, listed in the right-hand sidebar on this page. At issue is the interpretation of scriptures and how meanings are changed by using the NIV version of the bible.

Pastor Vince Giardino plans on responding to this issue, specifically with regard to the verses in question, 1 John 5:7-8. In the mean time, for those who are interested in this topic, Pastor G. is referring us to the Chick Publications article by David Daniels at this link:

http://www.chick.com/ask/articles/1john57.asp

David Daniels asks “Now we have to ask ourselves a question: Who had the most to gain by adding to or taking away from the Bible?” Read the whole article. You will find links to many related topics also.

Secular Humanism – Peter Bard

In our Wednesday evening classes, we have been examining the cults that are pre-eminent in our culture today. One might say there aren’t many, but this is not the truth as we have seen throughout the year. Some of the topics we have heard about include Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, The Charismatic movement, Calvinism, Catholicism, Scientology and the latest study on Secular Humanism.

“What?” you say.  “Secular humanism isn’t a cult. It’s just a way of thinking.”

Well, that way of thinking is sending people into Godless oblivion! A place of torment, called Hell.

A humanist hates God. A humanist doesn’t want to have to give God credit for anything. He will hate the Word of God. He will hate the mention of God. He will stop prayer in schools and omit “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. He will tell your children that there was a big bang that started everything on the earth. He will do whatever it takes to make sure that our country looks only to man and science for answers.

Where does it start? We would look to Genesis 1:1-3 for the beginning. “In the beginning, God created…”

A Humanist will go back “billions of years” to a non-existent time when everything came from nothing. HA!

We first looked at a video that tells us “What Darwin Didn’t Know”. He didn’t have the technology to look into a single cell and see that it is a fantastic machine, made of parts that could only have been put together by the mind of a creator.

(If you are interested in seeing this, you can find it on Youtube. This blogger decided not to post it because of the comments following. Sadly, there are those who want to sound intelligent, but can’t express a thought without being vulgar.)

Daniel 1:3-4 The young men that were taken captive were able to understand science. Darwin didn’t have anything on these guys.

The truth is, as Peter brought out, that the earth could never survive billions of years. The deterioration of the earth cannot be explained by a humanist because it should have been gone by now.

Humanism has brought us men like John Dewey, who signed the First Declaration of the Humanist Manifesto in 1933,  who said, “Public schools must become exclusively humanist and we must remove the religious superstition from students.”

For more great information, be sure to get a copy of this  lesson or hear it online today.

Sunday Evening – Anthony Petronico

Occasionally we have an opportunity to find out that God really does know what we need, when we don’t know ourselves. He’s that kind of God. He sends someone our way,  just when we were least expecting it. This Sunday evening was one of those times.

We always begin a service with hearty hymn singing and generally by the end of a song service, you can feel that there are people who WANT to be there, and love to worship our great God.

Special music was played and sung by Michael G.  He sang a song called “Sanctuary” and before he was finished, the preacher got up and told us that Mike was singing his sermon. People were already at the altar and hearts were being stirred.

When Brother Anthony Petronico came to the pulpit to preach, he asked us to go to Luke 5:12.  We started out with the leper. Leprosy is a picture of sin. We all have it!

In verse 13 we found that when Jesus touched him, the leprosy IMMEDIATELY left him.

If we look at four people we see a pattern.

Peter – Good man, but still had to believe

Leper – Cleansed by believing, Saved

Lame man – pictures a walk with God

Levite – Follower of God.

Someone can believe without being saved… but…

You cannot be a follower without first walking with Christ

Cannot walk with Christ without being saved and

you can’t be saved without believing.

 

The White House is not to blame for the ills of America.

The blame belongs to the Church House.

Christians are saved but not all are walking with or even followers of Christ.

America stopped praying!

Matt. 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Matt 21:22 – All things John 14:13  – Whatsoever

God does answer prayer.

When is the last time you had specific answers?

Why doesn’t God answer your prayers.


1. He doesn’t have to Isaiah 55:8 (my ways not your ways)

2. He knows our hearts  James 4:2, 1 Cor 10:1 ( we have the wrong associations)

3. He doesn’t hear our prayers. Psalm 66:18
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

a. Be clean  1 John 1:9, Is 59:1, ps 139:23

b. resist the devil   James 4:7

PRAY!!!

 

No, we didn’t know this preacher would be in town this week, but God did and He sent him our way on purpose.

 

 

Sunday June 25, 2011 Morning Service

After a hearty round of congregational singing and a few announcements, we heard “Nothing Between” sung by the duet of Grayson (on guitar) and Michael (singing harmony.)

Then it was pastor to the pulpit for more on “Deep Six.”
He joined us this morning wearing sackcloth over his clothes, (Johan 3:1-6) to represent the mournful state of our country, especially the state of NY after the weekend’s abominable turn of events in voting “yes” for Same Sex Marriage. After referencing the political “outlaws” that rule the land and go against the Bible, we opened with Romans 8:35-39 which tells us that none of these will separate us fromt he love of Christ.

Quoting Tozer – “True religion confronts earth with heaven and brings eternity to bear upon time. The messenger of Christ must speak to the condition of his hearers.”

Deep Six – Complete ruin

There are those that love the praise of men rather than that of God (Political leaders?)

Daniel 5:19

Maybe we got what we deserve if we didn’t do anything to stop it.Verse 20 says that the Kings mind was hardened. And in vers 22, the son was like the Father.

 

Christians are not setting the example of Godliness, setting themselves apart fromt he world.

1. Conquer sin – see blog from last week

2. Conquer Sex

Can a man take fire in his bosom and be not burned?

Christians shouldn’t be  ‘living together’

3. Conquer self

self examination

Proverbs 20:5-6

O for some faithful men!

Proverbs 18:1 notice the word “Separateth”

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

 

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. “There is no law against living righteously. Let’s do it!

 

The Cult Series continues: Jehovah’s Witnesses

What? Your kidding, right? You missed this past Wednesday evening’s service? Well, I miss a few too, every now and then (sheepish grin). Nevertheless, let me tell you what you missed.

You’re probably not sitting at Gospel Light if there is not an excellent music special to go along with the service. Our music special was by our fearless music leader himself. With Julia G. at piano, Mateo V. sang “Hallelujah, What a Savior” with sincere love for his “Savior”.Before most Wednesday evening services, Pastor Vince Giardino prepares a prayer list composed of things to be thankful for and things & people to pray for. As is usual, Pastor canvased the congregation for additional items for the list. When all the requests had been made, Gabriel G. stood at the pulpit and we prayed with him to God, beseeching our Lord for His will to be done.

“Hinging on Heresy” is the name of the series on cults being conducted at Gospel Light on Wednesday evenings. Bernie W. was our teacher and Jehovah’s Witnesses was his topic. Part One of his PowerPoint presentation dealt with a detailed history of how this cult came into being. The name “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was based on Isaiah 43:10, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord”, and was first adopted in 1931. But before that date, there is a long and convoluted history involving the gradual development of this cult and the beliefs of it’s founder, Joseph Russell. “Pastor Russell”, born in 1852, broke from the Adventist religion, and along with Nelson Barbour, created bible student groups that eventually evolved into Jehovah’s Witnesses. Just a few highlights from Bernie’s presentation included:

→ In 1981, the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society was formed. Jehovah’s Witnesses have some of the largest printing presses in the world and distribute an inordinate amount of printed material.

→ By 1888, 50 people were going door-to-door full time. Door-to-door is now the major emphasis of the cult, rather than prayer, meditation, or bible study.

→ Russell produced a four part 8-hour film entitled “The Photo-Drama of Creation” which incorporated sound, moving film, and color slides. The presentation was show worldwide.

→ Russell was a 33 degree Free Mason. Bernie pointed out that “one thing common in all cults and occult religions is that one of the founders is a high degree Free Mason”.

→ In 1916, Charles Russell died. Near his burial plot is a 9-foot stone pyramid memorial emblazoned with the cross of Free Masonry.

→ Joseph Rutherford, formally the Watch Towers Society’s legal counsel, succeeded Russell in 1917 and introduced his own organizational and doctrinal changes to the cult.

Please join us for the continuation of this series on Wednesday evenings at GLBBC. Upon completion, Bernie’s Jehovah’s Witnesses presentation will be available at the Gospel Light Cult Series Library on this blog web site.

One Book Rightly Divided

For one last time, Gospel Light welcomed Dr Doug Stauffer this past Sunday evening, this time as teacher. The white screen came down and we were treated to a slide show. Slides included various books and DVDs on sale, Brother Stauffer’s wife, son and daughter, travel pictures from Alaska, and slides from the Baptist History tour.

The major portion of the evening was spent going through the first two chapters of his book, “One Book Rightly Divided”. Those two chapters are available to be read at the web site http://www.rightlydivided.com/. Rather than try to hash through my notes, giving an imperfect summary of the chapter contents, I suggest to you, dear reader, to go to the web site and get this excellent content first hand. The book is available for purchase on-line for $20.00.

Ladies Bible Study: Keeping Our Church Unified

Did you happen to miss the Ladies Bible Study this past Monday evening (April 11) at Gospel Light? Me too. Of course, I’m a guy and I wasn’t invited. However, because I write for a blog, I have connections. I happen to have been given access to the entire bible study, which was presented by our Pastor’s wife, Lori Giardino. Since I can never keep a secret (no one ever tells me things they want to remain a hushed), it is logical to conclude that Lori wished this study to become public … and so it shall.

Mrs. Giardino uses James 3:1-6 to introduce the main idea of her study, but ends up using many other verses in scripture. Her topic deals with those things that would keep our church from being a growing, thriving, unified body of believers. Here is some excerpts from her bible study, with the entire study available for downloading <HERE> and at the link at the bottom of this post.There are always times in a ministry when things swing from “everything is going great” to “things are pressured” or even “it’s rough going and people are leaving”. I believe we can say that things are great here and we are having a great time! What I want to do tonight is to caution all of us to:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8

The truth is, that Satan does not like that Gospel Light is a growing, thriving church. He will blind your eyes to the great worship services, people getting saved and baptized, new folks joining the church and getting involved. He will not allow you to see the good because he is busy pointing out the petty things that will sidetrack you from faithful service here. He may even convince you that nothing here is good enough and you should try a different church.

What is Satan whispering in your ear? What lies is he telling you?The study then goes on to ask the question, What is it that keeps us from being unified? with four in-depth answers:

1. Gossip

2. Murmuring

3. Pride

4. Resentment

Ladies Bible Study – Monday evening April 11 <— use this link to download the complete study.

Note: Ladies Conference @ GLBBC coming May 6-7.

Three-part series on Mormonism

Linden Overhiser Sr. has completed his 3-part series on Mormonism. He has been teaching Wednesday evenings as part of Gospel Light’s series on cults. We have continually been making available these presentations here on the blog and the complete presentation on Mormonism has now been posted.

Under the “Pages” heading along the right-hand side of the blog home page, click on “Cult Series Library” to find your way to the current list of presentations … or just click <HERE>.

Brother Overhiser’s presentation was titled, “Mormonism, Satan’s Great Masterpiece”. His topics included:

  • A Timeline of Mormonism
  • What Mormons Will Not Tell You
  • Answering Mormons Verse by Verse
  • Some Interesting Symbols found on the Mormon Tabernacle
  • What happened to the three main witnesses?
  • The Bible and the Book of Mormon Compared

What we learned about Mormonism

Your blogger was absent for the first presentation on Mormonism last Wednesday. However, he was able to attend last evening’s presentation given by Linden O., Senior. Our very knowledgeable brother had much to say about this heretical cult that he was assigned to cover. Thus, in the form of a list, here are some of the many things we learned about Mormonism in this second session:

  • The Mormon religion has over 18 million followers, but over 100 divisions.
  • The golden plates, the source of the Book of Mormon, were not ever seen by anyone outside of Joseph Smith.
  • All three doctrinal Mormon books contradict the King James Bible: Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants.
  • Mormons are required to wear sacred underwear in order to enter the temple.
  • Most Mormon rituals are straight out of the occult. The prophet Joseph Smith was heavily into the occults upon founding Mormonism.
  • The reason why the Book of Mormon has no maps is because there is no archaeological evidence to support their claims.
  • The state of Utah have the nations highest rates of wife beatings, child abuse, and teen suicide.
  • Mormons encourage visitations from dead relatives from the spirit world, a practice that the bible forbids.
  • Secret temple oaths are based on the Scottish Rite Masons.
  • Before 1978, Mormons considered the Negro race inferior and prevented them from joining.
  • Mormons believe Christ is going to return to a temple in Missouri, but they don’t own the property.
  • Mormons consider the bible untrustworthy and full of errors.
  • The death of Jesus only partially saves a believer.
  • The Salt Lake City temple is adorned with an upside-down star, a goats head, which is a satanic symbol.
  • They believe that Archangel Michael came down to earth with several celestial wives and became Adam in the Garden of Eden.
  • Prophet Joseph Smith did not die as a martyr as they claim, but was killed during a gun battle in which he killed two men and wounded a third.
  • Mormon leader Brigham Young directly instigated the mass slaughter of a wagon train emigrant party, know as the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Many more points were provided, both last week and this week. This blog hopes to soon have the entire presentation to make available. Following Linden’s presentation, Pastor Giardino played a video about the link between Mormonism and the New Age movement. Unfortunately, technical problems cut short the video.But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:8 (KJV)

 

The Bridge

When I was a young Christian I didn’t really know any Christians to fellowship with or to help me grow. So I just kept reading my Bible and trusted God to lead me where He wanted. During this time period it was hard as I lost friends that didn’t want to hear about this Jesus guy. Income dropped from 4 to 5 figures a week to a low 3 figures. Many other things happened that made it hard for me in my new Christian walk. And not knowing any Christians made it harder. But if we truly seek God’s will He gives us the things we need to stay strong in our walk.

Well one day someone I knew gave me a copy of this short story, that was the last time I saw him. He was not saved, so why God used him to give me this story to this day I don’t know. When I read this story it broke my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I must have read it 50 times or more. I must have posted this story more than a dozen places on the internet over the years. I gave out thousands of copies as a type of tract.

The thing this story did for me is it made me want to learn all I could about Jesus, and the great gift He gave me. So for the next few years I just read my Bible and trusted in God until He lead me to 2 men that lead me to a church that helped me to grow even more in my walk with Jesus. By the way one of those 2 men was Pastor Vince. But the thing that kept me learning and growing until that point was this story. So I want to share it with you, and I hope that it will push you to grow in your walk with Christ as it did me.

The Bridge

There was once a big turntable bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with it’s length running up and down the river parallel with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a certain train would come along, and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river to allow it to cross.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train’s light. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance, when he turned the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but to his horror, he found the locking control didn’t work. If the bridge was not locked securely into position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came on it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. And this was a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever which he could use to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train passed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man’s strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack he heard a sound that made his blood run cold: “Daddy, where are you?” His four year old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left the lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety, but he realized he could not get back to the lever in time. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.

He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They didn’t see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked — to tell his wife he had sacrificed their son.

Now, if you can comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Heavenly Father when He scarified His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life. Can there be any wonder that he caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? And how does he feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?

Author Unknown

Mariology 201 – Cult Series at GLBBC

Wednesday evening’s Cult presentation at Gospel Light was the last in a series on “Mariology”. Pastor Vince Giardino has been teaching on this one aspect of Catholicism for over a month. He will hand over the reins to another yet-to-be-determined teacher as the Cult Series continues in two weeks.

Next Wednesday evening, however, has been set aside for preaching by a special guest, Evangelist Tom Bard, father of our youth pastor, Peter Bard. We last saw Brother Tom on October 3rd of last year when his message to us asked, “Do We Glory in Tribulation?

As we were able to do with previous cult exposures, this blog has posted the Catholicism presentations to the Cult Series Library. Please find the link listed under the “Pages” heading to the right of this post or just click here.

The Cult series continues: Catholicism

The Cult Series on Wednesday evenings at Gospel Light is still going strong. The past few weeks have seen Pastor Vince Giardino deliver teachings on Catholicism. As we were able to do with previous cult exposures, this blog has posted the Catholicism presentations to the Cult Series Library.

Find the link listed under the “Pages” heading to the right of this post or just click here.

 

Wednesday Evening Teachings: Catholicism

The following is content of Pastor Giardino’s presentation this past Wednesday evening on the topic of Catholism:

ALL-HOLY

Mary, “the All-Holy,” lived a perfectly sinless life (Catechism 411, 493)

In contrast, Mary said that God is her Savior (Luke 1:47). If God was her Savior, then Mary was not sinless. Sinless people do not need a Savior.

  • Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
  • Revelation 15:4 says, “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy”
  • Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

HISTORY

Immaculate Conception defined: The doctrine states that, from the first moment of her existence, Mary was preserved by God from the Original Sin and filled with sanctifying grace that would normally come with baptism after birth. Catholics believe Mary “was free from any personal or hereditary sin”.

Regarding the worship of Mary, the bible states:

  • Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  • Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
  • Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
  • Exo 20:6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

CO-MEDIATOR

Mary is the co-mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions. (Catechism 968-970, 2677)

There is only one mediator: Jesus, Our Mediator

  • 1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
  • 1 Tim 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
  • 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.

Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

NOTE: If Jesus is constantly interceding for us and He is able to save us “to the uttermost”, then He doesn’t need Mary’s help. If we can approach God with “boldness” and “confidence” because of our faith in Jesus, then we don’t need Mary’s help either.

ISIS

Mother of Life & Crone of Death, “The Giver of Life”, “Goddess of Magic”, a creation goddess & goddess of destruction.

451 A.D. – The Council of Chalcedon declared Mary the “Mother of God”.

Catholic perversion of Song of Solomon. They applied these scriptures to Mary and Jesus not the church and Jesus!

Ancient Near Eastern Deities

Baalim and Ashtoeth ( Astarte) Country: Canaan

Position: Mother-goddess; love; fertility

Judges 2:11-12 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.

Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him.

DEFINITIONS

SPIRITUAL FORNICATION: Worshipping and bowing down to other gods than the TRUE GOD!

QUEEN OF HEAVEN: Same as Ashtoreth (Similar to Anat and Ishtar)

Is not the worship of saints and angels now, in all respects, the same the worship of demons was in former times? The NAME is the only is difference!

The same temples and the very same images which were once consecrated to Jupiter and the other demons, are now consecrated to the Virgin Mary and other saints.

  • 1 Sam 12:9-10 And when they forgat the Lord their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
  • 1 Kings 11:4-5 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
  • Jer 7:17-18 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
  • Jeremiah 44:17-25 – Look it up!

Paganism is converted and applied to Popery. ( Isis unveiled, Blavatsky, 29)

Total Picture – Events of the New Testament

We interrupt your day to bring you … Total Picture – Events of the New Testament … a spreadsheet of, you guessed it, events in the New Testament … the major ones anyway. Brother Tom Hamilton constructed this spreadsheet as a reference used during his Sunday school walk through at the New Testament time-line white board. I think you will find this table of events comprehensive, well done, and useful in your own studies. (A certain blogger may cheat and use it during his own walk through.) The major points are as follows:

  1. Conception
  2. Birth
  3. Baptism
  4. Gathers disciples
  5. Crucifixion
  6. Resurrection
  7. Commission
  8. Ascension
  9. Pentecost
  10. Stoning of Stephen
  11. Saul’s conversion
  12. Salvation to the Gentiles
  13. Missions
  14. Christ’s liberty declared
  15. Rapture
  16. Judgment seat of Christ
  17. Marriage
  18. Great tribulation
  19. Second Coming
  20. Throne of Glory: Satan cast into pit and nations judged
  21. Millennial kingdom
  22. Satan loosed for season
  23. Great white throne
  24. New heaven and new earth
  25. New Jerusalem

The spreadsheet contains key verses and locations for each of the above points. Reference verses can be found on the second page (2nd tab) of the spreadsheet. Use Microsoft Excel or the free software, OpenOffice, to view the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is stored on this website and can be accessed or downloaded using the above hyperlink or right here.

Limited Atonement … an elite few?

The fourth installment on Calvinism was presented Wednesday evening at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church. Brother Scott Allis started out by commenting on the rapid growth of Calvinism in this country. He sees the internet playing a big part in that growth. Naive or inexperienced people, unable to or untrained in rightly dividing the Word, have easy access to religious materials on the internet, including heresies like Calvinism. The appeal of Calvinist and Reformed churches is often their family focused approach, rather than Christ focused; they push Christ aside.

Of the 5 points of Calvinism, Limited Atonement was the topic focused on this evening. Brother Allis said that limited atonement (LA) is “the glue that holds Calvinism and the other 4 points together.” If LA is true, then Calvinism is true. However, if LA can be proven false, then Calvinism falls apart.

What LA means is that the blood of Christ is not for everybody, but just for an elect few. Calvinists go further, reasoning that if the blood of Christ were for everyone, and not everyone is saved, then God has failed. In Calvinism, there is no greater heresy than to suggest that God loved all alike. Jesus’ words in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world”, cannot be true in Calvinism, since they believe God only loved the elect. This elitism often drives people look for other religions.

Brother Allis explained that God did not love Abel over Cain; our merciful God loves all the same. All people are free to chose to believe in Christ since God provide salvation for all. But if people don’t come, God didn’t fail; people have chosen not to do God’s will (e.g. Cain) and have limited what God wanted to do for them. In essence then, LA limits God’s mercy, grace, and sovereignty, ignoring that God bound Himself to His promises to all men.

Within Calvinism itself, a struggle continues over the meaning of the words “world”, “we”, and “whosoever” in the scriptures, Since LA means Christ could not have died for the entire human population, what then do these words refer to? Consider the following verses:

  • 2 Cor 5:19 – “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself”.
  • Matt 10:32-33 – “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
  • Rom 5:11 – “but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”.
  • John 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.
  • Isaiah 53:6 – “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • John 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.”
  • Joel 2:32 – “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”
  • Acts 2:21 – “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If LA were true, the majority of the world’s people would be condemned, not by their own sin, but because God chose not to elect them for atonement. The idea is elitist and racist since the “elect” are overwhelmingly white people in America and Europe, and only since the time of Calvin. Brother Allis suggested that those not elected might now have an excuse, saying, “Why Lord not me? Was I so much more rotten than your saint Calvin, who condemned Christians to be burned…”

Harry A. Ironside, Bible preacher and pastor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was cited for expressing the common evangelical understanding in contrast to Calvinism’s LA. In his book, Except Ye Repent, Ironside wrote, “Calvin made some stupendous blunders … for which the world has never forgiven him.”

Calvinists do preach salvation to the world, despite believing not all can be saved. However, they will not practice invitations to accept Jesus in their services, believing that only God’s elect are invited. Thus, they cease to be God’s ambassadors. How a Calvinist can explain Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, seems beyond reason.

Pastor Vince Giardino concluded with a few comments of his own. He stated that the lack of opposition to hypocrisies such as Calvinism is a characteristic of the Laodicean church. He also said that Calvinism cannot coexist within the church, but will end up harming or splitting a church. They are wolves that prey upon the flock. Paul said in Acts 20:29-30 to the church, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”

Wednesday Evening Service, Dec 15, 2010

Wednesday evening brought us another installment of the Cult Series here at Gospel Light. Bernie Wheater presented part two of his presentation on Scientology. He opened with two bible verses. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess 5:21. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1. Brother Bernie advised us to check in the King James Bible to see if what other religions are saying is right or wrong. Rather than get into the details of his presentation here, we have posted the Scientology study in the Cult Series Library on this blog. The link to this Library can always be found under the Pages heading in the right-hand column of the blog. Or click HERE.

As always, Wednesday evening is a time for prayer requests and earnest praying at Gospel Light. This week we heard the very sad news of the passing of Ken Parfitt from Old Paths BBC. Many here at Gospel Light were well acquainted with this man of God, who sustained his injuries in his efforts to be a Good Samaritan on an ice roadside. Please take time to pray for the widow, Jaime Parfitt, and her family. Pray also for Pastors Joseph Cammilleri and Jay Folk as they minister to their church. As Pastor Giardino has reminded us often, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

History can be a fascinating field of study. Thus, please focus your attention on a 200-year old letter written by Baptists. This letter will open your eyes to the flagrant indifference of American citizens today toward their freedoms and liberties. The contrast to the attitudes in our country’s early years, where the people had just finished a long and grueling battle with Britain to win independence, is striking. Read this article by an association of Baptist churches to President Thomas Jefferson and you will understand the enormous respect and gratitude they had for the freedoms they enjoyed. Then think about our country today, where the biggest theft of freedom and liberty the world has ever seen is occurring out in the open, right before the people’s eyes. Our government, at all levels, through the use of progressive tactics, is instituting socialism at an alarming pace. But the American people have been made ignorant by our public schools, our colleges, and our news media. We have been blinded by propaganda and made comatose by meaningless distractions and fruitless materialism.

To read the article, click on the link below. Understand the profound sense of gratitude that these Baptist men had for the freedoms they had been blessed with, freedoms we take for granted at our own peril.

A letter to President Thomas Jefferson from the North Carolina Chowan Baptist Association (Dated May 20, 1806)

Note: The Chowan Baptist Association was organized May 16-18, 1806 at Salem M. H., Pasquotank County, North Carolina. These Baptists greatly appreciated their religious liberty. The letter they wrote to Thomas Jefferson expressed their gratitude. Jefferson’s reply is also included.

Genealogy of Jesus

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A Contending Spirit

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Dear blog reader,

How greatly we cherish our fellowship here at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church. God has taught us the need to be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18) so that we can maintain and enjoy the “fellowship of the Spirit” (Phil 2:1). We all share the love, light, truth, and mercy that comes from being God’s children. We have learned to “be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil 2:2), humbling ourselves to obtain God’s precious saving grace.

However, who among us has not come across one or another in our flock burdened with a wrong spirit, one of strife and contention? Having forgotten that God requires humility in their hearts, some may have stumbled and been deceived by Satan. They may perhaps complain of a lack of fellowship or of love within the church, forgetting to look inward for the cause. They fail to humble themselves before God and to those with whom they contend. They may have lost the joy that comes from relying on Christ our Lord, who is sufficient in all things. The apostle Paul said in Phil 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

For those who have stumbled, let us lift them back up, with truth and right doctrine. II Tim 4:2 says, “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine”. The Holy Spirit of Truth which resides within us as Christians leads us not only to love, but because of that love, to reprove and rebuke our brothers and sisters who have been led astray. As a church family, we need take care of each other, spiritually as well as materially. Those who are willing to listen and show repentance, becoming contrite before God, are truly God’s children and will be grateful. But there will always be those who resist reproof, being governed by a proud spirit, their eyes being shut to truth and light. This is where patience and longsuffering comes in … and a little help and guidance from our pastor.

May God bless your day!