"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
September 1, 2004
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In this Issue:
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A PREACHER AND WHY I CAN'T QUIT
BEN BOGARD ON PREDESTINATION
Bouquets and Brickbats
WHO CAUSES AND CONTROLS THE STORMS?
ABOUT SOVEREIGN GRACE INDEPENDENT BAPTIST SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
DAMNABLE DOCTRINE: WHAT IS IT?
WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A PREACHER AND WHY I CAN'T QUIT
By Elder Earl Smith
"What it's like to be a preacher, and why I can't. quit." Hebrews 5:4. "And no man taketh this honour unto Himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron."
Did you ever wonder what it's like being a preacher? It's like many other tasks in life and yet so unlike anything else in the world. It's being loved and unloved, wanted and unwanted. It's being understood and misunderstood. It's attending a wedding and reception where everyone's heart is light and gay and happy, then rushing off to a funeral where hearts are sad and heavy and broken, then going to counsel a couple whose marriage is falling apart. A good pastor must be able to go from one of these situations to the other in a short period of time, and be a caring, sharing part of each one of them.
It's like talking with a drunken bum one minute and counseling a beauty queen the next. It's walking through doors of a hospital and wondering how many times I have walked through there in twenty-nine years and how much or how little I've really helped. To me, being a preacher is picking up a man or woman out of the gutter when no one else seems to care, and telling them that God cares, and that Christ died for sinners like them.
It's walking away from a new grave in a cemetery and wondering what the person you've just buried has discovered since death. It's offering hope when there seems to be none. It's long hours and being on call around the clock. It's constantly studying the Word of God to be a better preacher for the glory of Him who called me and for the edification of His people.
It's preaching the Word of God your people need to hear when they don't want to hear it. This is a little of "What it's like being a Preacher." It's the highest calling that ever came to mortal man. Here are some reasons "Why I Can't Quit."
I. THE CALLING OF GOD.
When the Lord called me to preach it was a personal call. I had been saved eleven months and was a member of Landmark Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Arkansas, but there was nothing to vote on. There was nothing for a committee to discuss. It was a direct call.
My parents, my wife, Landmark Baptist Church didn't call me, it was the Lord. (I needed the Church's authority and prayers to go preach, but the calling was of God!) Since it is a Divine call, I must preach whether I'm paid or not, whether it's convenient or not, if I feel good or bad, if folks like it or if they don't. I still have to preach!
II. I CANNOT QUIT BECAUSE OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST.
The Cross has a claim on my life. When I see Him hanging on the cross, that was for me. I Corinthians 1:18 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." I Corinthians 1:21 "For after that in the 'wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." Romans 10:14 "And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not. heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" Therefore, I must preach! I cannot quit because of:
III. THE COMING OF CHRIST.
John 14:3 "I will come again." Acts 1:11 "This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Someone must tell the world that there is a better day coming for the children of God. Someone must warn the wicked of the day of God's wrath.
There have been times that I have preached when I didn't feel like it and times when no one seemed to listen or care. But I can't quit preaching for these reasons. This poem of which I do not know the origin seems to express my feelings:
I've dreamed many dreams that never came true
I've seen them vanish at dawn,
But I've realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me want to dream on.
I've prayed many prayers when no answer came
Tho' I've waited patient and long,
But answers have come to enough of my prayers
To make me keep praying on.
I've trusted many a friend that failed,
And left me to weep alone.
But I've found enough of my friends true blue
To make me keep trusting on.
I've sown many seeds that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I've held enough golden sheaves in my hand,
To make me keep sowing on.
I've drained the cup of disappointment and, pain
I've gone many days without song,
But I've sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to preach on.
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BEN BOGARD ON PREDESTINATION
Rom. 8:29, 30, “For whom He did foreknow. he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
Phil. 1:6, “He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The word foreknow in the text is the same word which in other places is translated fore-ordain, and rendered thus, the text would read: “For whom he foreordained, he also predestinated be conformed to the image of his Son” and He which thus “begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
In other words, salvation is wholly of grace; it begins in God’s purpose and ends in Christ’s finished work. The work is commenced and finished by the Lord.
1. God’s purpose or election is eternal. II Tim. 1:8-9, “But be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus-before the world began.” It is clear that a Christian was saved in God’s purpose before the world began.
2. This doctrine does not contradict, but rather confirms the doctrine of man’s free agency. God purposed that man should be free. If God had not so purposed, we would have been closed in by the iron hand of fate. II Thess. 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” God purposed man’s salvation, but it was to be “through belief of the truth.” So we must call on men to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” if they would be saved.
3. This grace is sovereign, and is under no obligation to save anybody. If he chooses to save it is an act of pure mercy. God has so declared in his conversation with Moses. Ex. 33.19, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” The man who imagines he can demand anything of God as a matter of justice is dreadfully mistaken. “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” saith the Lord.
4. The sovereign grace as seen in election utterly excludes boasting. Rom. 3:27, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay but by the law of faith.”
I Cor. 4:7, .”For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? how, if thou didst receive it why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” All things are ours, simply because God has made it so, not because we deserve it.
5. Election—God’s eternal purpose—is the foundation of Christian assurance. Romans 8:30-31 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it.”He which hath laid the solid foundation will erect the building.
1. The performing of this work includes our preservation unto the end. It is a work to go on “until the day of Jesus Christ.”
2. The performing of this work includes sanctification. Prov. 4:18, “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
3. The work of preserving and sanctifying is in cooperation with the one who is the receiver of these blessings. While God’s grace is sovereign, it by no means excludes the cooperation of man. Phil. 2:12, 13, “. . . Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
4. God’s work of grace, as great and glorious as it is, does not make us perfect while in the flesh. Paul said in Rom. 7:18, 19, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing ... For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”
I John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
The Apostle Paul places himself as one of the imperfect ones. The loving Apostle John puts himself in when he says that “If we say that we have ho sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
These Apostles not only do not claim to be perfect, but positively state that such a thing as perfection in the flesh is not a possible attainment.
5. God’s work of grace will be fully performed when Jesus appears the second time and we see Him as He is. Then we shall be perfect. I John 3:2, “It doth hot yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” This is enough. Whatever that glory shall be, it will be complete, and satisfying. God’s work of saving will be complete. Bless His holy name.
(Outline of a sermon Dr. Bogard preached in Charleston, MO.)
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Bouquets and Brickbats
TENNESSEE:The article you wrote and published called “Understanding The Call To Preach” was wonderful. You should have written it a long time ago.
MISSISSIPPI: I have just read your article on the call to preach and I wanted you to know that it is the best I have ever read on the subject. I agree with you that most of our church members probably have little understanding about the call to preach. Thanks for writing it.
ILLINOIS: We are still enjoying reading your paper. We have been receiving it for years now. We pray for you and for the paper often. We would like for you to add these names to your mailing list. May the Lord bless you in your work.
TENNESSEE: The last issue (August 1, 2004) of The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator was the best I have read in a long time. The article on the call to preach was such a blessing and so greatly needed. Bro. Lee’s Report on Thailand Missions was also very good.
WWW: I need to know if the devil has anything to do with the storms in the air that are going on. A friend and I where talking about it and he said that God is causing all of these storms but I went to a conference and it was said that God does not cause storms like what is going on right now. I need scripture to check out this information. Could you please help me with this? (See editors answer below)
OHIO: Your Christian website is extremely good! You did an awesome job and it must have taken you a long time to create.
Hypocrites, indeed, may grow in hypocrisy, Pharisees in self-righteousness, Arminians in fleshly perfection, dead Calvinists in head-knowledge, proud professors in presumption, self-deceivers in delusion, and the untried and unexercised in vain confidence. But the dead never grow in the divine life, for "the root of the matter" is not in them(Job xix. 28). (J. C. Philpot)
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WHO CAUSES AND CONTROLS THE STORMS?
By Wayne Camp
On the morning of September 20, 2004, I received the following letter via e-mail.
I need to know if the devil has anything to do with the storms in the air that are going on. A friend and I where talking about it and he said that God is causing all of these storms but I went to a conference and it was said that God does not cause storms like what is going on right now. I need scripture to check out this information. Could you please help me with this?
Thank you for writing. Your being puzzled about who causes storms and such weather-related matters is understandable. The Bible sometimes indicates that Satan caused some storms. At other times it is obvious that God is the immediate cause of some storms. But, let me assure you that even when Satan causes a storm he does so as an instrument in the hands of God.
Please be assured that whenever a storm of any kind comes, God has his way in it. Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
A GOD-CAUSED HAILSTORM
There is no doubt that God controls the weather so that it perfectly fulfills his purpose in it. When a great hailstorm came in Egypt, God not only caused that storm but he also controlled exactly where the hail fell and where it did not. Exodus 9:23-26 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
Please notice that this very grievous hailstorm is directly attributed to the Lord. Consider these expressions. The Word of God clearly says, “The LORD sent thunder and hail.” Again it plainly says, “the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.”
Nothing could be more obvious than that God was the source of this terrible hailstorm. It is also obvious that he controlled where the hail fell. Note another portion of the passage cited above. Verse 26 says, “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.”
JESUS TAUGHT THAT GOD CONTROLS THE WEATHER
Jesus attributed to God the control of the weather. Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
GOD SENDS DREAMS AND CAUSES DROUGHTS
The Pharaoh of Egypt once dreamed a dream in which he saw seven years of plenty and then seven years of famine. Of course, it was pictured in such a way that he did not understand the dream. Genesis 41:17-24 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river: 18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow: 19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness: 20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: 21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke. 22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good: 23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them: 24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
When the magicians of Egypt could not reveal the meaning of the two dreams to Pharaoh, Joseph was eventually brought from prison and was asked to interpret the dream. As you read the following verses notice how clearly Joseph attributes the good years and the poor years to God. Genesis 41:28-32 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. 29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: 30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; 31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. 32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
These years of plenty and the years of grievous famine were all established by God and it was HE who would shortly bring it to pass.
GOD SENDS RAIN WHERE AND WHEN HE PLEASES
Notice also God’s words to Israel through the prophet Amos. Amos 4:7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. In this verse God declares that he withheld the rain from them when it was so very needed—three months before harvest time. I grew up on the farm. My wife and I farmed two years after we were married. I know how crucial it is at certain times during the raising of a crop to get some rain. Israel knew this also and God is reminding them that he withheld the rain at a very crucial time in the cycle of their crops.
Note also that he not only controlled when it rained, he controlled where it rained. He caused it to rain on one city and withheld the rain over another city. He caused it to rain on one piece of land and withheld the rain on another so that the crops on the latter piece withered up and did not produce a harvest.
GOD SENDS WIND LADEN WITH LOCUSTS
When God was delivering the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage, he used the wind to bring a plague of locusts on the land of Egypt. Exodus 10:13-14 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Please note that it was the Lord who brought the wind. It was the Lord who brought the plague of locusts. It was a very grievous infestation of locusts that had never been seen before and has not been seen since. The east wind and the locusts were both from God.
When the plague of locusts had fulfilled his purpose, God sent another wind, a west wind this time, to remove them from the land and dump them into the Red Sea. Exodus 10:19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. Notice how thoroughly God controlled this wind. Every last locust was removed from the land. Not one locust was left in all the coasts of Egypt.
God also used the wind to push the Red Sea back and dry the ground for the Israelites to go across on dry ground. Exodus 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. When the Egyptian army was crossing the see, God caused a wind to blow the waters and drowned the soldiers. Exodus 15:10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
GOD SENT WIND LADEN WITH QUAILS
When the children of Israel murmured because they were tired of eating manna, God again caused a wind to blow. This time it brought quail for them to eat. Numbers 11:31-32 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. 32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.
GOD CONTROLS STORMS AT SEA
Jonah was called of God to go to the Gentile city of Nineveh and preach to them, Jonah did not want to go. He bought a ticket and headed to Tarshish instead. When they were well out to sea, God set things in motion to get the prophet to Nineveh. The first step was to send a great wind. Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
GOD REVEALS HIS MIGHTY WORKS THROUGH STORMS
Whether it be a hurricane, a typhoon, a tornado, or a thunderstorm, God uses them all to reveal his might works and his awesome power. The Psalmist revealed this in one of his songs. Psalm 107:23-29 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
DOES THE DEVIL EVER CONTROL THE WEATHER?
By now you may be wondering if there is ever a time when Satan controls the weather. Yes, there are times when he does control the weather but only as an instrument under the control of God. God is sovereign over the whole universe and all things are under his providential control, even the wrath of wicked men. Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
When God would prove Job, he temporarily gave the Satan control of the weather so that he could use it as one of the things that happened to Job. Job 1:9-12 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Note that God had a hedge around Job and Satan was unable to do anything to him without the Divine permission. When God gave him permission with certain limits set, he allowed Satan to use his power to bring great harm to Job. One of the things that Satan was allowed to do involved a storm. Job 1:18-19 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house: 19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Since God had given Satan permission to inflict great suffering upon Job we know that Satan caused this storm. But, Job attributed what happened to him to the Lord, not the Devil. Job 1:20-21 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Again Job said of God, Job 23:13-16 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. 14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him. 15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him. 16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me.
Is God in the hurricanes that have been hitting this year or any other time for that matter? Is God in the tornadoes that are generated by these storms and other weather conditions? Is God in the floods that many are enduring as a result of these storms and other storms?
The answer is a bold, “Yes!” Psalm 135:6-7 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. 7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
The name of the One who creates and controls storms is The Lord, the God of Hosts. Amos 4:13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
Jesus Christ is God as well as man. When he stilled a storm men marvelled saying, “Even the winds and the sea obey him!”
The God who is revealed in the Scriptures is one “Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” including the origin and movement of storms.
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NEW STUDENT HOUSE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
ANOTHER VIEW WITH WORKER ON SITE
(Note: At the time we are going to press the house has been completed)
ABOUT THE SOVEREIGN GRACE INDEPENDENT BAPTIST SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
By Wayne Camp
Pictured above is the skeleton of a new student house that is being built at the Hill Tribes Children’s center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We have had to build it because of an anticipated increase in the number of students we expect for the 2004-2005 term of the school. Last year we averaged about 40 students with a top attendance of about 50. This year it appears we will have over 60 in classes.
A SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
In the event you have wondered about the nature of this school, I want to assure all of our readers and supporters that it is not a secular school. The only subject we teach that might be considered secular is English. The reason we teach English is so that the students can read theology books written in English.
NO THEOLOGY BOOKS IN LAHU AND LISU AND NOTHING SOUND IN THAI
There are no Theology books written in Lahu and Lisu, the languages of most of our students. I do not know of a single book on biblical subjects in these languages. Rather than tackle the task of getting some books translated to these languages and into the Thai language, we thought it would be easier to teach the students English. Several have already contributed books for our library and I (Wayne Camp) plan to take a number of good theology books from my private library to Thailand for the use of the students.
This is a Bible School that is true to that description. We teach the word of God for five hours every day four days per week for four months of the year. Then in the months between March 1 and November 1 Bro. Anond teaches Bible three or four days per month.
It is not the purpose of this school to give the students a secular education. There are Thai schools and colleges where this could be done more efficiently than we could do it. The Thai school system includes school where adults can catch up on their schooling. They can go in the afternoon one or two days per week or in the evening one or two evenings per week.
It is our purpose to teach them the Word of God. We only teach the English to give them a tool to broaden their biblical studies.
The only translations of the Scriptures that the Lahu and Lisu brethren have are less than desirable. Entire verses are left out and the prejudices of the translator (I speak of the Lahu bible) stand out in some passages. From what we experienced in classes this past year this is often true of the Lisu and Thai Bibles. I hope to see the day that these brethren will be able to compare and contrast their translation with the trusted King James Version of the Scriptures.
Sometimes in our Bible classes we will compare the Lisu, Lahu, Thai, and KJV scriptures on some verses. I use the KJV in the classes. Bro. Anond will translate for me as I use the KJV while teaching. We often have someone to read from the Lahu, Lisu and Thai bibles. When there are differences the students will raise questions because their translations do not perfectly match the KJV. We have had some very good discussions and these discussions have provided another means of teaching them.
BY WHOSE AUTHORITY IS THIS SCHOOL OPERATED
Occasionally someone will ask Bro. Lee or me about the sponsorship of the School.
In the Spring of 2002 the Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church voted to send me to Thailand for four months each year to start and teach this Bible School. This was done with the full agreement of Bro. Bill Lee and Central Baptist Church. Bro. Anond’s work is under the sponsorship of the church in the village of Pa Sak where he holds membership.
Please pray for us as we move toward the beginning of another school year and the construction of a permanent style of building for the school. As this is being written we have just over $20,000 raised toward the new building. We are in need of approximately $15,000 more to fully pay for the construction.
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DAMNABLE DOCTRINE: WHAT IS IT?
By Wayne Camp
Recently I was in a discussion with a person and I remarked that a certain doctrine was damnable doctrine. He then posed this question: “What is damnable doctrine?”
Peter wrote of false teachers “who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (II Pet. 2:1). Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees: “Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than ye yourselves” (Matt. 23:15).
Negatively, we should point out that damnable is not merely something with which you or I happen to strongly disagree. One may strongly disagree with post-millennialism but that does not make it damnable doctrine. Were one to deny that Christ would come again at all that would make Christ a liar and would possibly cause some to not consider him as Saviour. He plainly declared: “I will come again” (Jn. 14:6). If I say he won't, then I accuse him of lying and unworthy of our trust as Saviour. Since no person knows the exact time of Christ's coming, no doctrine that merely has to do with the time of Christ's coming and not the fact of his coming could be considered damnable doctrine. I am a staunch pre-millennialist but will not be guilty of claiming to know the exact time or precise manner of Christ's second coming. Not even the archangel Michael is privy to that knowledge.
Positively, damnable doctrine has to do with fundamental errors concerning the gospel, the Godhead, Jesus Christ and his deity. Denial of the deity, the true Messiahship, the only Saviour of sinners, the satisfaction and sufficiency rendered in his atoning death and his office as mediator, Intercessor and Advocate. To deny any of these is damnable doctrine for it amounts to denying him as Lord (II Pet. 2:1) and to declaring God to be a liar. “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (I Jn. 5:10-11).
Damnable doctrine is doctrine that teaches a false plan of salvation. Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees made proselytes who were two fold more the children of hell than they themselves were (Matt. 23:15). The Pharisees denied the doctrine of total depravity and “trusted in themselves that they were righteous” (Lu. 18:9). They taught: “Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). They insisted when a Gentile made a profession of faith “That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses” (Acts 15:5). They caused problems at Antioch, Jerusalem, and Galatia with their damnable heresies. Those who preach works for salvation, baptismal regeneration, circumcisional regeneration, and such damnable heresies in truth “preacheth another Jesus” other than the Jesus of the Bible and “another gospel” which is a perversion of the gospel of grace (II Cor. 11:4; Gal. 1:6). In more modern times we have “decisional regeneration,” “invitational regeneration,” and “mourners bench regeneration.” On numerous occasions I have asked someone if they have assurance that they are saved and they reply: “I went forward,” or: “I responded to the invitation.” One case I remember vividly was a man who believed he was saved because he spent three weeks at a mourner's bench every night and on his last night there a blood vessel ruptured causing him to black out. The church baptized him because they believed that the Lord had “smitten him” with salvation. He was going through life trusting in that black-out experience for his salvation. He was simply another victim of a damnable doctrine.
“Easy believism” and “polly-parrot evangelism” combined with high pressure invitations are conjuring conversions and producing professions in the thousands. Most of these folk have never known godly sorrow for sin. They have never experienced repentance, God-wrought repentance toward God. Preach the unadulterated truth of God's word to them and they will go back and walk no more with you (Jn. 6:66). Tell them: “No man can come to me, except the Father which bath sent me draw him” (Jn. 6:44); tell them: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63); tell them: “Therefore, I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (Jn. 6:65). Tell them these great truths and they will murmur and complain: “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (Jn. 6:60); tell them these things and they will be like the king-makers whose tummies were filled, who, when these things were preached to them by Christ: “Many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him” (Jn. 6:66).
Those who are guilty of the error of invitational regeneration say to the sinner: “If you will take the first step, God will help you make the rest.” The truth says: “No man can come unless” he is drawn to Christ.” They say: “You must come and be born again of your own free will.” The truth says: “of his (God's) own will begat he us” (James 1:18). They promise: “You will be saved when and only if you come of your own free will.” The truth says: “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (Psa. 110:3).
Damnable doctrine is any doctrine that causes sinners to trust in anything or anyone other than the Divine Trinity for their salvation. Damnable doctrine is doctrine that impugns the character and work of the Godhead making them appear unworthy of our trust for salvation. Damnable doctrine is doctrine which frustrates the grace of God by mixing works and ordinances into God's way of salvation (Gal. 2:21). Damnable doctrine may mix circumcision (Acts 15:1, 5) and the works of the law of Moses in salvation. Damnable doctrine may mix baptism and membership in a specific church with grace in salvation.
Just always remember, when a convert is made by those who teach damnable doctrine, he is TWO FOLD MORE A CHILD OF HELL than are those who made him a convert. These are “grievous wolves” of whom we must warn you (Acts 20:28-30) if we would be “good ministers of Jesus Christ” (I Tim. 4:1-6).
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This page was last updated Friday, March 04, 2011