Saturday, May 18, 2013
A beautiful incident in the experience of Queen Victoria is worth remembering. It has been published and is unquestionably authentic. The Queen had attended a service in St. Paul’s Cathedral and had listened to a sermon that interested her greatly; then she asked her Chaplain if one could be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety. His answer was that he knew of no way that one could be absolutely sure.
This was published in the Court News and fell under the eye of a humble minister of the Gospel, John Townsend, an intimate friend of George Mueller, whose life of faith led to the founding of his well-known orphanages. This John Townsend was the father of the famous “Sister Abigail,” another Christian of extraordinary faith and service.
After reading of Queen Victoria’s question and the answer she received, John Townsend thought and prayed much about the matter, then sent the following note to the Queen:
“To her gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of her most humble subjects:
“With trembling hands, but heart-filled love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10?
“These passages prove there is full assurance of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for those who believe and accept His finished work.
“I sign myself, your servant for Jesus’ sake, John Townsend.”
John Townsend was not alone in praying about his letter to the Queen. He took others into his confidence, and much prayer from many hearts went up to God. In about a fortnight he received a modest-looking envelope containing the following letter:
“To John Townsend:
Your letter of recent date received and in reply would state that I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God’s Grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, ‘I go to prepare a place for you.’ (Signed) Victoria Guelph.”
Whether one is an earthly monarch or an inconspicuous, unknown person, the way of salvation and of eternal life is the same. The Scripture passages John Townsend commended to the reading of the Gracious Queen were these two: “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.” John 3:16.
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10.
These passages, and many others, in the Word of God, pledge us His Word that one who, by simple faith, received His Son as Saviour has eternal life now and here. The Apostle John tells us that His Gospel was written “that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name.” John 20:31.
Salvation by faith in Christ is repeatedly declared in the Scriptures to be the present possession not merely future, of those who believe. Thus the Lord said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I was introduced to a man named David today, and was told David was a retired ‘cop’. I asked a ‘gravel road cop’?
David questioned “gravel road cop”? Yes, I answered RCMP “GRC”, ‘gravel road cop!
Oh, David replied, GRC “God Really Cares” That's a new one I like. Eh!
I approach RCMP Constables, from time to time, and now I have a new conversation line.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Phil Robertson reaches the common folks while Max reaches out to the church folks.
They both teaches the false teaching of baptismal regeneration.
The entire Robertson family is active with the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, which meets just a few miles from the Duck Commander/Buck Commander warehouse in this northeast Louisiana town of 13,000.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Max Lucado (born January 11, 1955) is a best-selling author and writer and preacher at Oak Hills Church (formerly the Oak Hills Church of Christ) in San Antonio, Texas. Lucado has written almost 100 books with 80 million copies in print, including three recipients of the Charles "Kip" Jordon Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year (Just Like Jesus, In the Grip of Grace, andWhen God Whispers Your Name), and has also appeared regularly on several bestseller lists including the New York Times Best Seller List.. After serving as the senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, TX for 20 years, Lucado announced in early 2007 that he was stepping down due to health concerns related to atrial fibrillation. Lucado has since resumed the more limited ministry role of writing and preaching at Oak Hills with co-pastor Randy Frazee, formerly of Willow Creek Community Church of South Barrington, IL.
NOTE their teachings in red below, JNH
Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology)
Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Calvinist in their understanding of salvation and generally present conversion as "obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion".:215 Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because of their sins.:124 These lost souls can be redeemed becauseJesus Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice.:124 Children too young to understand right from wrong, and make a conscious choice between the two, are believed to be innocent of sin.:107:124 The age when this occurs is generally believed to be around 13, although it varies based on maturity.:107
Churches of Christ generally teach that the process of salvation involves the following steps:
3. One must repent, which means turning from one's former lifestyle and choosing God's ways (Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, Luke 13:3);
5. One must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 1Peter 3:20–21; Romans 6:3–5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16); and
6. One must remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).
Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively on implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples.:152,153 This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively "affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace", but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming "a theme that would increasingly define this tradition".:153
See also: Baptism in early Christianity
Baptism has been recognized as an important rite throughout the history of the Christian Church,:11 but Christian groups differ over the manner in which baptism is administered,:11 the meaning and significance of baptism,:11 its role in salvation,:12 and who is a candidate for baptism.:12
Baptism in Churches of Christ is performed only by bodily immersion,:107:124 based on the Koine Greek verb βαπτίζω (baptizō) which is understood to mean to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge.:313–314:45–46:139:22 Immersion is seen as more closely conforming to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus than other modes of baptism.:314–316:140 Churches of Christ argue that historically immersion was the mode used in the first century, and that pouring and sprinkling later emerged as secondary modes when immersion was not possible.:140 Over time these secondary modes came to replace immersion.:140 Only those mentally capable of belief and repentance are baptized (i.e., infant baptism is not practiced because the New Testament has no precedent for it).:124:318–319:195
Churches of Christ have historically had the most conservative position on baptism among the various branches of the Restoration Movement, understanding baptism by immersion to be a necessary part of conversion.:61 The most significant disagreements concerned the extent to which a correct understanding of the role of baptism is necessary for its validity.:61 David Lipscomb consistently argued that if a believer was baptized out of a desire to obey God, the baptism was valid, even if the individual did not fully understand the role baptism plays in salvation.:61 Austin McGary argued strongly that to be valid, the convert must also understand that baptism is for the forgiveness of sins.:62 McGary's view became the prevailing one in the early 20th century, but the approach advocated by Lipscomb never totally disappeared.:62 More recently, the rise of the International Churches of Christhas caused some to reexamine the issue.:66
Churches of Christ consistently teach that in baptism a believer surrenders his life in faith and obedience to God, and that God "by the merits of Christ's blood, cleanses one from sin and truly changes the state of the person from an alien to a citizen of God's kingdom. Baptism is not a human work; it is the place where God does the work that only God can do.":66 Baptism is a passive act of faith rather than a meritorious work; it "is a confession that a person has nothing to offer God".:112
While Churches of Christ do not describe baptism as a "sacrament", their view of it can legitimately be described as "sacramental".:186:66 The term, "sacrament" comes from the Latin, sacramentum which means "a thing set apart as holy". The New Testament does not differentiate certain acts of obedience from others as to bestow a special sort of grace. An Augustinian cleric, Hugo of St. Victor (1096-1141) from Italian Catholicism is responsible for classifying seven "sacraments". They see the power of baptism coming from God, who chose to use baptism as a vehicle, rather than from the water or the act itself,:186 and understand baptism to be an integral part of the conversion process, rather than as only a symbol of conversion.:184 A recent trend is to emphasize the transformational aspect of baptism: instead of describing it as nothing more than a legal requirement or sign of something that happened in the past, it is seen as "the event that places the believer 'into Christ' where God does the ongoing work of transformation".:66 There is a minority that downplays the importance of baptism in order to avoid sectarianism, but the broader trend is to "reexamine the richness of the biblical teaching of baptism and to reinforce its central and essential place in Christianity".:66
Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual.:133:630,631 One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source).:170 Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance,:179–182 rather than a "work" that earns salvation.:170