Interesting phone call
I had a very interesting call from a gentleman this morning who called out of the blue to discuss “doctrine”. The doctrine he was most interested in was salvation and what, if anything, gave evidence that one was born again. He asked hypothetically: “if a person believes in Christ and for the rest of his life (say 40 years +) lived any way he wanted, sinned up a storm, had no conviction about his actions, never changed at all, didn’t care about the bible, church, prayer or fellowship and actually just lived like the world and then he died…… would he go to heaven.” I said of course not and tried to explain to him that “believe” is not just agreeing that something is true. I reminded him that “even the demons believe and tremble” and that what mattered was a new life in Christ, where He lives His life through His people. I told him that Jesus said “if you don’t repent you will all likewise perish.” He got pretty angry a time or two and said I was a heretic, taught a false gospel and wasn’t going to heaven. I ended up saying “I guess we will see.” It is amazing how fast people can become angry when you say anything they don’t agree with or like.
What are God’s terms for receiving God’s provision?
Salvation is such a critical topic it is no wonder that it has so much false teaching tied to it. There are two conditions for salvation in the gospel. They are repentance and faith. Faith is a gift (Eph 2:8) and God grants repentance (2 Tim 2:25) but nevertheless, they are the two conditions. Repent and believe! That is what Jesus preached, “At that time Jesus came preaching, repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1.15, 16). It is what Paul preached. He says, “I testified to Jews and Greeks wherever I went, repentance toward God, faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20.21). This is the Gospel that Jesus told his own to preach (Luke 24.45-46). “He opened their minds to understand the Scripture and told them it was necessary for Christ to die, and to be raised again from the dead the third day, that repentance unto remission of sins should be preached in his name among all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” What are God’s terms for obtaining God’s provision? We must repent and we must believe. Why people get so hostile towards repentance or obedience is really quite amazing. I realize it is the flesh that wants salvation on its own terms meaning: I want the benefit of Christ as my savior but refuse him as my Lord.
I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages
It was Spurgeon who said “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.” I have always found that quote to be very helpful when going through various trials or attacks. Luther said the devil made him a good theologian due to the incessant doctrinal attacks by the priests. Regardless of the hostility, I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to have a conversation with a man about truth today.
The Day of the Lord, What the Children of Light Know
Speaking of truth: we will be back in 1 Thessalonians this weekend beginning chapter 5 with a study I called “The Day of the Lord, What the Children of Light Know”. Here is where this book really starts to get interesting. I have to tell you it is so much easier to teach a system of belief than it is to teach the Bible. I am spending many extra hours of study and research since so many of us see these passages through the lens of a “system”. You won’t want to miss this passage as it sets up the foundation for the rest of the letter.
In case you are not aware, CBC was just approved by the ECFA this week! We are one of only three churches in San Diego County who meet the stringent financial accountability requirements to belong to this organization. We join the ranks with groups like Focus on the Family and Grace Community Church (John MacArthur). The ECFA is the gold standard for financial accountability, integrity, transparency and proper biblical leadership and we are proud to be accepted as the newest member. How far we have come! Learn more about the ECFA here http://www.ecfa.org/Content/About Joining and qualifying for the ECFA has been one of our goals for the last 5 years.
Thanksgiving service and dinner at CBC
Don’t forget about the Thanksgiving Day service and dinner on Thursday, November 26th beginning at 10:00 am. Signups are at the information booth. Remember that this is for your family, friends and neighbors only. Please do not invite random strangers as we have a responsibility to protect the flock.
Praying for you all that the Lord will make Himself known to each of you this week.
Pastor Scott and the entire CBC Staff