Monday, October 30, 2006

Missionary Wife Insights (Where's the Water?)

I asked my wonderful wife to write another post. This is her second post.

When Terry asked me to write another entry for his blog, I really didn’t know what to write about. Our life in PNG seems to never have a dull moment. Compared to life in America, most every aspect of the culture is completely different. To many of the village-dwelling nationals, we are considered rich. Not because we ARE rich, but because we live in a house made of wood with a tin roof and a cement foundation, we BUY most of our food instead of growing it and eating the same thing every day, we have indoor plumbing, and a generator to give us electricity to run our computer, water pump, refrigerator and freezer, AND we own a truck and can fill it with gas and have it repaired, which we need to do quite often. (We have even had it repaired with super glue and duct tape, and when you look under the hood, there is inner-tubing tying together just about every part you can see!)
I decided I would write about what it’s like when we have to do things the hard way. There is a joke among many of our missionary friends here in PNG. We tease each other about whether we are REAL missionaries or not. If we have some kind of convenience that offers us some comfort and/or rest, than we are not being REAL missionaries. If we have to do without something or have it tough, then we are REAL missionaries. We have been real missionaries for a few weeks.
As for the indoor plumbing, our water is pumped into the house from two big tanks that are filled with rain water. Our gutters are connected to the top of the tanks, and the rain water is collected from our roof. A good rain for just two or three hours will fill both tanks. The only problem with this system is, well, when it doesn’t rain, there’s no water. No water in the tanks, anyway. There IS water in the rivers and springs. We have heard that when your tanks run out of water here in Namatanai, that you have to go to the rivers and springs and get some. We always thought that would be tough, and I was always so glad when it would rain just as we thought we would run out of water. Well, it finally happened. We ran out of water. I thought it wasn’t a big problem, though, because we would pray for rain, and ask others to pray for rain, and it would rain. That was three weeks ago. So, we have been going to a spring fed river about one mile from our house every day to fill up our liter jugs with water from the spring. (Daniel, my 15-year-old, has this job.) We girls also wash our long hair at Halis (hah-leece), and the baby gets to play. I do the laundry in two large tin tubs every other day. I fill them up with soap and water and put the clothes in to soak. Then we all rinse the clothes one at a time, wring them, and throw them in the basket. This gets repeated about six times. Oh, my aching back! Normally, my children do the laundry in our semi-automatic washer, and I hang them up, (and inspect them).
It has been annoying, but the Lord always gives me what I need o help me grow, and this has been one of those times. First of all, it has allowed me to focus more on my prayer life. This time when I prayed, there was no rain after a few days. Why not? What’s wrong? I am confident that it will rain, and the Lord knows what He is doing in our lives. I also know that my prayer life needs to be much, much better. This really is not an emergency situation. We can get water any time we want from the river. Will my prayer life be good enough, (‘good enough’ sounds as if it will be where it should be; maybe I should say ‘better enough’), when things really get difficult? I really need to work on that.
Having no water has been good for the children, too. Normally, they don’t have to work that hard. Their chores are easy. They have also been praying for rain. I think it’s wonderful when we are all pulling together to pray for our needs here on the mission field. It’s been good for all of us. Especially baby Levi. He loves playing in the water! I just received some heating pads for my back in a package from the US, and I am off to try them out…

Disclaimer: the real missionary joke is a joke because we all know it’s tough living here in PNG, away from family, medical care, etc. We are happy to be serving the Lord where He has called us.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Abiding in Christ and Abiding in His love!

I am still preaching through the Gospel of John on Sunday mornings. I am currently in John 16. Here are some thoughts from John 15.

Chapters 13-16 of the Gospel of John is Jesus’s final discourse with the disciples before his death. His public ministry ended in chapter 12. Chapter 13 Jesus demonstrates amazing humility by washing the disciples’ feet. He then tells them one of them is a betrayer, that He is leaving, and that Peter will deny Him. No doubt, they all must have felt like they were just hit by a ton of bricks!! The news hit them hard and they were saddened by this discourse. In chapter 14, Jesus starts to encourage them. He tells them how He will come again and receive them. He tells them is preparing a place for them. Jesus tells them even though He is gone, they will do even greater works then He did on the earth. He informs them of the coming of the Spirit, the power of prayer and the peace of God. Chapter 15 Jesus gets even more practical in how they/we are to succeed while Jesus is in heaven and we are here.

John chapter 15 deals with our relationship with God, with other believers and with the world. In dealing with our relationship with God, Jesus said we are to abide in Him. Jesus tells us here that without abiding in Him, “we can do nothing.” (vs 5) He explains that without abiding in Him, we will not produce lasting fruit. (vs 5,16) The question is, how do we abide in Christ? Jesus answered it by using a metaphor. He said we abide in Him as a branch abides in the vine. Jesus gave this metaphor, so we could picture exactly what He meant by abiding in Him. The only reason the branch produces fruit is because it abides in the vine. The branch receives all of its strength, food, and power from the vine. The vine is the life of the branch. Jesus needs to be our life. He needs to be the source of our strength, not positive thinking. He needs to be our food, not our self esteem, and He needs to be our power, not our own intellect and education. He needs to be our life! In this process, the Father is the husbandman who will purge us. (vs 1,2) Purging, many times, involves pain. The Father will cut away anything that is hindering our growth and ability to produce fruit. This is not an easy process, but it is necessary for us to accomplish the will of God. The key to us being successful here on this earth, while Jesus is heaven, is to abide in Him as the branch abides in the vine.

By verse nine and ten, Jesus then tells the disciples to abide in His love. This would affect their relationship with each other. They were to abide in Christ as a branch abides in a vine, and here they are to abide in His love by virtue of their obedience:

(John 15:10) “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”

Jesus told them in chapter 14, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Our love for God is directly tied to our obedience. You can not separate the two, although many try and do that in the day we live in. In Chapter 15, Jesus mentions a specific command of His in relation to abiding in His love, “that ye love one another as I have loved you.” Wow! Jesus Christ loves us unselfishly, humbly, and even to the point of giving of Himself unto death. These are to be our actions toward fellow Christians. Jesus also demonstrated His love toward us by being a servant. Don’t forget, minutes before this discussion He washed the disciples’ feet! This was the work of a common servant before a meal. Yet, Jesus took on this role. We need to love each other by our service.

We need to abide in Christ’s love by being obedient to Him. Especially, by our love for each other. The fact is, if we love each other as Christ commanded us, we will not be lying to each other; we will not be coveting from each other; we will not steal from each other; there would be no adultery, etc... We would be obedient to our Lord in all areas!

Abiding in Christ produced fruit, abiding in His love, by obedience, produces closeness to our Lord, a friendship.

(John 15:14) “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

Why is it some are closer to God than others? Because they are abiding in His love by being obedient.

Are you abiding in Christ and in His love?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


· One Sunday, several months ago, I held combined services with the work in Sohun and the work in Kudukudu. (Background information: The work in Sohun was started before I arrived in PNG. It was started by a man in the village named Joshua. When Joshua was younger, he left the village and went to the capitol, Port Moresby. While there, he heard the gospel and trusted Christ as the Savior. He became a member of Bible Baptist church in Port Moresby. He left there and went back to his home village, Sohun. He began a small fellowship and some of his family started getting saved. At that time, they began praying the Lord to send a missionary. I never met Joshua though. While I was on deputation, to come to PNG, he died of cancer. He was in his early 40’s at the time of his death. He did know I was coming to the island, though. I preach in Sohun each Sunday before going to Kudukudu. They do have a national pastor, James Able, there. He is not ordained yet. He has had some previous training and I am training him also. I hope to organize the work and run an ordination service for Bro James shortly. The work in Kudukudu was started by me in August of 2004. I am still pastoring this work until a national is trained.)

Alright, now back to the story: During the combined services, one of the men in Sohun, Pius, recognized one the men in Kudukudu, Wesley. Pius has been saved for about five years now, and had not seen Wesley for many years. Wesley and he were very good friends years ago. They used to get drunk together, and they even spent time in a PNG jail together. He had no idea Wesley and his family were now coming to the work I started in Kudukudu. Nor did he know Wesley and his wife had just recently trusted Christ as Saviour and this very service were going to be baptized with several other adults! After Wesley’s baptism, Pius and Wesley hugged and rejoiced that both were now new creatures in Christ. Both had found truth and meaning in life. I had no idea the two men knew each other from years past. I was thrilled to see the Lord give both joy over their reunion! The Lord was in control of all of this. How the Lord loves to give us delight!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Truck/Two Men/Rain/Post Office

Saturday, I headed out to the village of Kudukudu for my visits. It is just about a one hour drive on a pretty rough road. I am currently doing some discipleship with Joel and Rose on Saturday mornings. You can read about there conversion here:
  • Joel and Rose
  • They are doing good and growing in the Lord. I also needed to visit a family in the village of Balai, which is on the other side of Kudukudu. However, as I arrived in the village Saturday, one of my front wheels started making a horrible noise. I knew it was the bearing. (Driving on these rough roads for the past three years, I have had to replace many parts, including several bearings.) Daniel, my son, was with me, and we decided to just turn around and head back.

    About half way home, the bearing went completely out, making it impossible to drive. I was only about 2km from where the bush mechanic lives. I eased the truck to his house, and from there Daniel and I started the walk back. It was about 9:00am now and well over 100 degrees. We had just over 10 miles to walk. The Lord blessed and about one hour into the walk, a bush truck came by and took us back to Namatanai where our house is.

    Not only did I have the problem of being without a vehicle, but the day before we ran out of water. I was planning on going to the river in the afternoon with several buckets to collect water for our house. When we are without water we also do all the washing of clothes and bathing at the river. It is about 2 miles from the house. I knew I needed to find a truck. We needed water for the house and the next day was Sunday. This is the first time in our three years here I have needed to find another vehicle. There are no car lots here; there are no rental car places. Very, very few people have vehicles here. I decided to ask one of the trade store owners if I could rent his vehicle.

    Upon going into the trade store, it became clear why the Lord had allowed this day’s events to take place. I went to the back of store to talk with George, the store’s owner, but before I could bring up the need for the truck, he started asking me Biblical questions. This is not typical of George. George had been thinking about his future and talking with one of his workers about it. Both of the men were fearful. They were primarily asking questions about the Lord’s return. This opened the door for the gospel. This is not the first time I have witnessed to both of these men. About one year ago, I shared the gospel with George and about 18 months ago with the other man, Michael. We talked for awhile about the Lord. Neither man made a profession of faith, but the Spirit was working in their hearts. George and Michael both asked me to come back and talk with them again. The Lord knew I needed to be in the store at that time, and He made sure I was. Had I not needed a truck, I would have never went there that day! Oh yes, George did lend me a truck for the rest of the day and for Sunday.

    Pray for George and Michael that they would put their trust in the Lord. Also, do pray for rain. We have been without water since Friday. It is no fun having to go to the river for your water. When my generator is broke down or our phone is out, it is still pretty manageable, but it is very difficult without water. We had a major volcanic eruption almost two weeks ago on the island just south of us. The people here are saying it is affecting our weather. The eruption occurred 36 miles from our house. Here is a link to a picture of it, from the PNG newspaper:
  • Volcano
  • Pray for my truck as well. A plane is due in the morning and it is supposed to have parts for my truck on it. Another thing to pray for is our post office. The government here has closed it down, again. This is the second time now. The last time it was closed for four months. When this happens we have to have our mail sent to a post office on the north tip of island and that is a five hour drive away.

    Pray for:
    George and Michael
    Post office

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Perseverance of the Saints

    For this post, we will examine, in the light of Biblical salvation, the doctrine of perseverance of the saints as taught by Calvinists. This post is not an attack on any one person, but on a false doctrine. Many saved people who love the Lord, as much as I, believe in this false doctrine. My desire is not to prove I am right! My desire is to , glorify my Lord, earnestly contend for the faith, and be of help to fellow brethren.

    I need to finish off my last post first. I did not finish with what makes salvation effectual to a person. The answer in the Bible is (Act 20:21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

    When a person realizes they are a condemned sinner before a holy and righteous God and truly believe in the work Jesus has done for them, they need to put their faith in Him with repentance. All who do so are saved! Acts 3:19, Acts 17:30; John 3:16,36 Romans 10:9,10; Acts 16:31. (There are dozen of verses teaching us this.) We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8, 9). It is the grace of God that enables this. You see, none deserve salvation! It is because of the grace of God, that God has provided a means of salvation for His creation. (Titus 2:11) If God does not give grace, then Jesus does not go to the cross and we are all condemned! The key attributes of God in play are Holiness, Justice, Love, and Grace.

    My guess is the majority reading this would agree. It is the clear Biblical teaching.

    So when a person “A” places their faith in Christ his sin was judged at Calvary, and he has received the righteousness of God! Because of these two FACTS person A is eternally secure. Why? His sin has already been judged. ALL of his sin. Two, he has now received the righteousness of God, in which there is NO sin. This righteousness has been imputed to the believer, just like his sins were imputed to Jesus. This is why the Bible gives us verse after verse on everlasting life. Our sin has already been judged and the Lord God has given us His righteousness!

    There is no longer anything separating us from God. This is one reason why, at salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells the believer and his spirit is given life. At that moment he receives eternal life. Eternal life is NOT heaven. Heaven is a place. I will not receive eternal life when I die. I already have eternal life (John 3:36)! Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the LIFE.” He is eternal life, and all true believers have received Him!

    Here are some more scriptures teaching us what has happened to the believer’s sin.

    (1Jo 3:5) And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

    (Heb 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

    (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.

    These verses teach us our sins have been taken away, purged, and that Jesus was the propitiation of our sins. (He satisfied the holiness of God by His sacrifice.) This is why the believer is eternally secure.

    Now let’s compare that with the teaching of Calvinism. The Calvinistic doctrine of perseverance teaches perseverance is essential for salvation. They believe it provides the believer needed assurance, and that it is EFFECTUAL in their salvation. They believe it is the proof of a true believer.

    I do not have so much a problem with the idea of perseverance providing assurance, as well it being evidence of salvation. The Bible does teach, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” My problem lies with the teaching making it effectual in salvation.

    Now please don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at some of the teachings by prominent Calvinists of our day.

    (All of this material, sermons, I have personally read. I went to NO book or web page teaching against Calvinism for this material! This has been my own research. )

    First, let’s look at a comment by RC Sproul. He was teaching on the perseverance of the saints when he made this comment. I have NOT taken it out of context.

    “In and of myself I am capable of sinning even unto the loss of my salvation, but I'm persuaded that God in his grace will keep me from that. (“Can a Sinning Christian Lose His Salvation”?)

    According to Sproul perseverance is necessary for salvation. That without God keeping him from sinning, he would fall away and lose his salvation. Now, I have some questions for Bro Sproul, Were or were not your sins purged by Jesus Christ? If so, then how could you ever fall under condemnation again!? If all of your sin has already been judged, how can you be judged again for your sin? If you could, that would attack the justice of God.

    Let’s go to John Piper,

    These two quotes are taken from one of his sermons about perseverance of the saints.
    (Title of sermon: “Be diligent to enter God’s rest.”)

    “Persevering in faith to the end is a community project.”

    His point here was we need each other to “persevere.” (I thought it was all of God!?)

    “Anyone who puts faith in God's promises bought for us by the blood of Jesus, and is diligent not to throw that faith away, is a part of the people of God.”

    He, too, asserts to the necessity of perseverance for salvation. Notice his last statement. He is adding works to salvation! Now, he escapes this work salvation by teaching his perseverance is all of God, not of himself. However, he clearly contradicts that teaching in this sermon as is evident by the first quote.

    Eric Schumacher,

    This Calvinist has a sermon online called “The Necessity of Endurance for Salvation.”

    The title says it all, but let’s look at one quote from the sermon. The point he was trying to make, by this quote, is seen in many writings by Calvinist on this subject. I would like to address it. Here is the quote from that message:

    “So, we see that sanctification is a necessary attribute of a saving faith. One cannot be a saint without being sanctified. This is one reason we must be striving to endure: our salvation.”

    The first part of this statement I agree with, but his conclusion is unscriptural. He, too, is adding works to salvation. Notice WE must STRIVE. (Again he escapes saying he believes in works, because he is able to “endure” because of God not himself. That still does not change the fact that the enduring is his own work!

    Many sermons, and books by Calvinist concerning the “P”, use sanctification to teach the necessity of perseverance in relation to salvation.

    There are three Biblical aspects to sanctification. We will look at two of them here.

    The first is positional sanctification. This takes place at the moment of salvation. (I Cor 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.”

    Here the Bible teaches we are sanctified already. This sanctification has already taken place. How? Because my sins were purged and I received the righteousness of God. Notice the verse says, I am sanctified in the “name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God.” No perseverance is mentioned or referred to.

    There is also a progressive sanctification. The Bible says in I Peter 1:16 “…Be ye Holy for I am Holy.” While we are on the earth we need to strive for holiness. Not to be saved, but because we are saved. That is clearly seen is the context of the chapter in I Peter.

    Problems arise when people mix positional and progressive sanctification.

    Finally, let’s look at statements by John MacArthur. (All quotes are taken from his Master Seminary Journal lecture on perseverance of the saints.)

    Here, Bro Macarthur was quoting from Murray:
    “But let us appreciate the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints and recognize that we may entertain the faith of our security in Christ only as we persevere in faith and holiness to the end.”

    Again, here he makes perseverance essential to salvation. This is a work of man.

    “God's own holiness thus requires perseverance. "God's grace insures
    our persevering`but this does not make it any less our persevering."21
    Believers cannot acquire "the prize of the upward call of God in Christ
    Jesus" unless they "press on toward the goal" (Phil 3:14).”

    He is adding to the gospel, not understanding that all his sins have already been judged at Calvary. Perseverance does not make salvation effectual! Faith does!

    Also, note he admits this perseverance is “our” perseverance, not simply God’s.

    “The maintenance of a Christian's faith
    is as much His work as every other aspect of salvation. Faith is
    kindled and driven and maintained and fortified by God's grace.
    But to say that faith is God's gracious gift, which He maintains,
    is not to say that faith operates apart from the human will.

    The means by which God maintains their faith
    involves their full participation.”

    Here he was teaching this “maintaining” of our faith is all of God, with our “participation.” If it is with our “participation”, then it is not all of God. Yet salvation is of God. I am not kept saved by my “participation.” That would be me working. There is no way around that. I am kept saved because of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

    It is clear Calvinist believe perseverance is necessary for salvation. It is making faith contingent upon perseverance, which is a work of man!

    Bro MacArthur again,

    “Consequently, many people who utterly lack any love for the Lord Jesus Christ are being given a false hope of heaven. True Christians love Christ.”

    Here, he is exactly correct. His conclusion is true, Christians love Christ. AMEN! That is exactly right. We love Christ not to BE saved, but because we are saved. Yet the teaching of following the Lord faithfully (perseverance) fails to distinguish this point.

    Many people think if perseverance is not true then you can sin all you want and never face consequences. That is not true and it too lacks understanding of what took place at salvation.

    When the Lord saved me, he indwelled me. (Rom 8:9) He gave my spirit life. (Eph 2:1) As a result I am a “ creature: old things are passed away behold all things are become new.” Because I am saved, I will follow my Lord. Those who profess to be saved, yet do not follow are not saved. John 8:31 We all agree a vain profession saves no one! At the moment of my salvation all my sins were imputed unto Jesus and His Righteousness was imputed unto me. (Romans 4; II Corinthians 5:21) Thus I am eternally secure. The penalty of sin has been paid for on behalf by Jesus Christ.

    The teaching of the perseverance of the saints makes a RESULT of salvation a CONDITION of salvation and thus the error. This error is believed and taught because of a lack of understanding of what took place at our salvation.

    The fruit of repentance will show up in a desire and love for the Lord. It is a result of salvation.

    Please remember back to my first post on how salvation works. It is our sin that has to be dealt with. Our sin was dealt with by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is not dependent upon my perseverance.

    Let me finish with the Bible, itself, address the issue. The following verses are Romans 4:1-8. The key verses being the last few. (One might be thinking, why Romans 4:1-8 it does not talk about perseverance. Exactly!!!)

    (Rom 4:1-8) What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    I hope and pray this post is of help to some!

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Calvinism cont..

    (This is my second post in the last two days. Yesterday, there was a large increase in traffic to my blog due to my Calvinism post from last week. Many new comments were posted. I say that so that you will not miss out on the previous blog I posted Monday. Please take time to read it.)

    This post is my second post on the Calvinism issue.

    I would agree with Calvinism in that one who has truly trusted Jesus Christ will not lose their salvation. However, I strongly disagree with how they come to their conclusion of WHY a true Christian can never lose their salvation. The “P” of Calvinism demonstrates a lack of understanding on how salvation works.

    First let’s look at how salvation works. (This, of course, will not be an exhaustive study on soteriology, but a general overview.) What is the one thing that has separated man from God? Sin! (Isaiah 59:2)Sin is the cause of death (separation). (Romans 6:23) Sin is the reason we need a savior. Sin is the reason all men are condemned. Sin is the reason for physical, spiritual and eternal death.

    The fact is all men are going to die and face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) “All have sinned,” and unless something takes place to remove one’s sin, he will face an eternal death (separation) from God in the lake of fire. (Romans 6:23; Rev 20:12-15; 21:8)

    Now, the question is what removes our sin? (Please remember the ONLY thing keeping us from God is sin.) At first glance, the future of man might look hopeless. Why? We all have sin. Judgment is coming. The lake of fire is real! There is an eternal death! We are guilty before God.

    The most prominent attribute of God in the Bible is His Holiness. The wages of sin are a result of God’s holiness and justice. God is a holy and just God. Because of this, there is a penalty of sin. He will NOT allow sin to go unpunished. If He did, that would go against His holiness and His justice. Now, another attribute of God is Love. Some have asked the question, if God loves everyone why does He not just save everyone? The answer is God’s love can not over ride His Holiness. Sin must be paid for.

    So how does God solve the issue between His holiness and his love for His creation? Jesus Christ! God became a man. He was 100% man and 100% God. He lived a perfect life without sin. He was the only person ever born to accomplish this. He had no earthly father, thus no sin nature. He was PERFECT. He met the requirements for God’s holiness and His righteous standard (perfection).

    So what does that have to do with our salvation? Everything! Let me explain.

    In God’s infinite wisdom and love, he decided to sacrifice Himself. How so? God determined to pay the penalty of sin himself. What is the penalty? Death!

    Because Jesus was without sin, and perfect, He was able to take our penalty. (Rom 5:8, Rom 6:23) Why? Because He was without sin. He was innocent. Had He been just another man, he would be facing the same judgment and not in a position to help anyone. It would be like two men drowning the ocean trying to save each other. Neither knows how to swim and neither is in a position to help the other because both are in the same danger. The two men would need someone who is NOT drowning to come and rescue/save them.

    Remember the penalty of sin is death. He went to the cross and shed His blood as a sacrifice for sins. Rev 1:5 He truly took our place. Why did God do this? He died for us because He loves us. (John 3:16) Jesus paid the penalty, but three days later He defeated death and ROSE from the dead! He defeated the penalty of sin!! This sacrifice, Jesus made, satisfied the holiness and justice of God!!! (I John 2:2)

    A great verse to show us what Jesus accomplished on the cross is II Cor 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

    Jesus Christ was made sin, while we were made the righteousness of God! This means Jesus took ALL of your sin upon himself and fully gives you His righteousness. Now, did Jesus have sin? No! He was perfect. So if the Lord gives you His righteousness, it is a perfect righteousness meeting God’s standard for perfection. Thus, there is NO LONGER a barrier between you and God. You would have eternal life! Your sin is gone! It has been paid for, by the work of Jesus Christ on Calvary!

    The big question is how does this work of Jesus Christ be applied to our life. How does this work become effectual to us?

    If the death and resurrection of Jesus is applied to our life, our sin is removed and we receive the righteousness of God! (II Cor 5:21)

    Now, if you are a Calvinist you need to ask yourself if you agree with the above statement. Do you think the statement agrees with Calvinistic theology as written? (In particular the “P” of the TULIP) .I realize I have not specifically mentioned anything about the “P” as of yet. I will tie it together in my next post, as well as how the work of Jesus is applied to our life. I just want you to think about it before the next post.

    Please hold comments only to the matter of salvation on this post. I know many would like to begin to discuss the perseverance issue, but that needs to wait until my next post. Allow me to make my argument first, and then fell free to disagree and comment.

    This post was needed so that I could establish a good foundation for my next post. I would think most would agree with what I have written so far.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    Weekend Events

    During my soul winning time on Saturday, I spent time with three families. The first family belonged to an ex “catholic evangelist,” Stephen. This man made a profession of faith back on January 1st of this year. (I will write about his conversion in another blog.) Stephen is doing well, and growing in the Lord. He had spent a total of 46 years in the Catholic Church. He has a strong hunger for the Word of God and that is fueling his growth. Two weeks ago, during my Saturday visits, his wife made a profession of faith. Then, this Saturday, his oldest daughter made profession of faith! She is a young mother and has been attending services for several months now as well. Soon, I will be baptizing that family. I love to see families get baptized together!

    I would love to show video, on this blog, of what it is like walking to Stephen’s house. He and his family live in a small bush house which is surrounded by their gardens. (The gardens are how the villagers survive here. There is no “jobs” in the village. The people live entirely off the land. ) Their house is on a small hill in the jungle. One of the nick names of Papua New Guinea is “The land that time forgot.” If you were to travel to his house you would understand why that is an appropriate nick name. Time may have forgotten them, but the Lord Jesus Christ did not! One day they will leave that simple village in the jungle “for a city whose builder and maker is God!”

    Sunday proved to be pretty exciting as well. I just finished Sunday school and was starting the main service. As I began, a man came running up to the church. His one year old child had just become very sick. I asked the symptoms and I knew it was either cerebral malaria or meningitis. Both of which can prove fatal. I have personally seen malaria kill several infants in my three years here. I quickly had three men pray and I left to take them to the “haus sik,” (House Sick). The haus sik is in Namatanai, where our house is, so it is a one hour drive. I drove as a fast as I could. The front end of my truck starting making a horrible noise. It was metal grinding on metal. I thought a front bearing went out. However I could not stop, due to the sick baby. Keep in mind, there are no other vehicles on this “road.” This was a Sunday so the PMV trucks which transport people do not run. I thought my axle was just going to snap! The Lord blessed, though, and we made it all the way to the haus sik.

    This morning I went back to check on the baby, and the workers there told me he had cerebral malaria. His name is Hosea, so please keep him in your prayer. He was doing much better this morning. He was awake, and responsive. Also pray the Lord will use this to provide an oppurtunity for me to talk the family.

    Just another weekend in Papua New Guinea!

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006


    From time to time, I will be posting on one of the biggest dangers I see to the gospel and missions, Calvinism. I will be posting on different aspects of the dangerous TULIP. It’s effects are just beginning to come into many Baptist churches today and are changing people’s thinking. I fear if the current trend is not curved, much damage will be done to world missions.

    Major change usually takes time, so this change in thinking will not occur overnight, but over the process of time. Soon, we will hear the voices William Carey heard when he told a group of preachers he wanted to reach the world with gospel. Those Calvinistic voices told him something like this, “Sit down! When God wants to convert the heathen, He will do so Himself without the Help of you or I.” No, we are not seeing this yet in Baptist churches, but it is coming unless something is done. Today’s Calvinist is missions friendly, but over time that will change, just because of the nature of their theology.

    The past several years has seen a rise in Calvinism throughout Baptist churches. I believe there are several factors as to why this has taken place. One reason would be a reaction against quick prayerism. Christians began to realize this, “123 pray after me”, was not working. Churches were seeing thousands of “decisions”, but there was no fruit. Pride seemed to become a motivation for our service instead of a love for God as well. Our “method” was simply focused on getting people to pray a prayer. Books were written, classes were taught, which showed us how to get someone to pray a prayer. Much of this information was based upon manipulation and psychology, instead of the convicting work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart. As Christians began realizing this was not right, nor was it working, the doctrine of Calvinism was there to provide answers.

    Another reason for the increase in Calvinism was the rise of two prominent Calvinistic preachers within fundamentalism: John Macarthur and John Piper. Both men, through their preaching and writings, began to promote Calvinism. It appealed to an intellectual side of the house, at a time when many were tired of shallowness in some churches.

    Calvinism of today began using several different means to get people to convert to their theological position. One of the means used is psychology. Let me give one example. A Calvinist boldly proclaims you are either Calvinist or Arminianist. Well, certainly no good Baptist wants to be identified with Armenianism! The fact is, though, many such as myself, are neither Calvinistic nor Armenianistic in our theology. Instead of following the TULIP, I choose to follow the BIBLE. Just because I may agree with some points of Arminianism or Calvinism in no way makes me an Arminianist or Calvinist. This would be like a person telling me, because I believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, I am a Catholic. If I happen to agree with Arminianism or Calvinism in some area, it is because their teaching is following the Bible. The fact is both theological positions (Calvinsim/Arminianism) are not scriptural and contain error.

    At the heart of this issue is a needed understanding of how salvation works. In my next post on this topic, I will discuss the “P” of the TULIP. It is here where it becomes clear Calvinist teachings lack an understanding of what Christ actually did for us on the Cross. They fail to realize why one who is truly saved can never lose their salvation.